Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

A recent leak in a power plant storage tank in Russia has caused 20,000 tons of diesel colour edgy red in the river near Norilsk, Siberia, and the European Space Agency’s Copernicus outpost 2 satellite has documented the shock of the days. A state of emergency has been declared and clean-up work is under way following an accident at a coal-fired power plant owned by Norilsk Nickel.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

ESA satellite map in early June (processed)

The European Space Agency shared a GIF motion picture, showing the shocking contrast between the scenes before and after the leak in early June. Norilsk Nickel said earlier this week that the accident was caused by a sudden sinking of a support column under the tank, and that unusually warm temperatures caused the permafrost beneath the tank to melt.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

In fact, the melting of permafrost in the Arctic Circle has already aroused widespread concern from all walks of life. A 2018 NASA study, for example, looked at the effects of warming on permafrost in the north, and many researchers have called for close monitoring of the region.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

The @WWF_Belgie World Wide Fund for shared several images posted near the ground, and the results were as striking as the view from space satellites. Pictures on Wednesday showed large tracts of the river stained with blood.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

Workers are now working to clear the soil from the leaked diesel and to pump fuel out of the Anbanaya River, which is connected to it. WWF said the accident would have a big impact on local fish, birds and wild reindeer herds.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red

Aleksey Knizhnikov of WWF Russia said in a statement on Thursday that it was necessary to prevent further escalation, but that toxic elements remained in rivers and lakes. We need to learn from it in order to prevent such incidents from continuing in the future.

Melting permafrost causes Russian power plant storage tanks to leak 20,000 tons of diesel fuel to dye river red