A vast blanket of toxic, foul-smelling foam inundated a polluted river near the Colombian capital, Bogota, blanketing homes and businesses, sending residents fleeing in cloud-like shrapnel as they drifted through the streets.
“It smells bad – [and] “We had to put up with this foam for a long time,” community leader Luz Mariela Gomez told local TV channels. “We’re taking a risk. Someone could fall in there and we won’t be able to find them.”
Pictures from the residential suburb of Mosquera showed massive drifts of caustic foam burying sidewalks and towering above residents. One road to a school was cut off.
The polluting foam – which has been seen in the city several times over the past few years – is increasing due to people dumping waste, chemicals and detergents into the river system, local environmental authorities said. Heavy rains aggravated the problem.
Mosquera . Mayor’s Office Tweet pictures of toxic foam, along with city officials. The mayor, Gian Jerometa, claimed that the build-up of pollution was partly due to a blockage caused by plants in the river. “We are aware of the risks that can arise due to this phenomenon,” he said chirp .
Authorities also warned local residents to stay away from the foam, which is believed to cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.
“It is important that the children are kept away because we don’t know exactly what these materials are,” Edwin Garcia, a government environmental official, told local radio station Caracol, adding that a treatment plant in the area has been disinfecting since 2020. “We will monitor and clean the entire river to prevent further continuation of the river. Foam buildup.”
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