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Nharkom Said
Nharkom Said
Feb 15 2012

Blood-red Beirut River: Cause yet unknown

Blood-red Beirut River: Cause yet unknown
Dozens of reports have come in regarding the mysterious red coloring of the Beirut River on Wednesday. 

The cause is not yet clear and the blood-like appearance of the water has many Beirutis concerned. 

Research confirms that this is not the only case of a blood-red river in the past. Late last year the Jian River in China turned an eerie shade of red after an illegal dye manufacturer dumped chemicals into the water supply. Several workshops and slaughterhouses exist along the length of the Beirut River, all likely culprits. 

Larger bodies of water, and even coastal areas, have been known to turn a reddish hue due to over-population of certain bacteria or algae whose byproducts or, in the case of algae blooms, the microorganisms themselves discolor the water. 

Environmental minister, Nazem el-Khoury led a specialized team of scientists to investigate the event and test the water to discover the nature and source of the red contaminant.

A few years ago, a test was conducted on the Antelias River to chart the course of the water. Dyes were used in the process to more easily follow the water flow from source to sea. Given investigations are ongoing, it is unlikely this type of test is currently under way on the Beirut River.

As social media platforms begin to digest this information, many have suggested the possibility of this event being an act of protest to raise awareness for the dumping that occurs in the Beirut River. As of yet, no individuals or groups have stepped forward. 

The case of the Beirut river remains a mystery but a logical explanation cannot be far away.

Photo credit: Roy Massad
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