MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - The toxic slick traveling down the Armur River from China is expected to reach the Russian city of Khabarovsk, home to about 600,000 people, Thursday morning, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Wednesday.
"The [benzene] slick traveled 20 km (12.5 miles) in the past 24 hours, moving at a speed of about 2.1 km per hour," the ministry said.
The construction of a dam in the Kazakevicha, a branch of the Amur, was completed at 6 a.m. Moscow time (3 a.m. GMT) Wednesday.
"One water intake facility on the branch of the Amur was switched off temporarily pending results of tests of the river water and in case of dam failure," the ministry said.
"Measures to prepare for the limited use of river water have been completed in the Jewish Autonomy and the Khabarovsk Region, and the content of the Amur water has been tested for quality on a continual basis," the ministry added.
Benzene concentration levels have been reported to be within the maximum allowable parameters.
One hundred metric tons of benzene were dumped into the Amur tributary of the Songhua River after a November 13 explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant.