< /p> UPDATE DAY
The origin of the pollution of the Oder River – which flows on the Polish-German border – as well as the polluting substance remain unknown, the Polish Minister of Climate said on Sunday evening.
Tens of tons of dead fish have continued to be fished out for several days along the river, in Poland and Germany.
To date, “no analysis has confirmed the presence of toxic substances”, said Ms. Anna Moskwa, after a meeting with her German counterpart Steffi Lemke, in Szczecin, in northwestern Poland. .
According to Ms. Moskwa, the analyzes of the recovered fish did not confirm the presence of mercury or heavy metals. The only anomaly noted remains the high level of oxygen in the water.
“We are analyzing different possibilities; both the introduction of hazardous substances and the natural situation”, drought and heat waves.
According to Ms Lemke, it is now a question of “reducing the consequences of the disaster” and, if possible, preventing further damage that it may cause.
“We do not know to what extent this disaster will have an impact on the ecological system, and for how long – months, maybe years”, she told the press.
The two ministers assured that the pollution of the Oder had no impact on groundwater or drinking water on either side of the river.
Polish police on Saturday offered a reward of 210,000 euros to find the author of the pollution.
Polish nationalist-populist government has come under fire from critics, both in Poland and in in Germany, for not reacting sooner.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki admitted on Saturday that he had been informed of the situation “on August 9 or 10”, when the first signs of the pollution were recorded on July 26, around the Polish city of Olawa (southwest).
The opposition, local authorities and environmental organizations are calling for the resignation of those responsible for the case , including a deputy minister who was still encouraging people to go swimming in the Oder on Thursday.
The public prosecutor's office has opened an investigation.
The Oder, which flows from first in Poland and forms a natural border between Poland and Germany, has been considered relatively clean for many years, sheltered nt about forty species of fish, which attract many species of birds and animals.