The breach of the Kakhovka dam flooded dozens of villages and towns on both banks of Ukraine’s Dnipro River but it also pushing millions of tonnes of debris, sediment, oil and pesticide-contaminated sludge towards the Black Sea.
At present, a wave of sediment and pollutants are flowing towards neighbouring countries that also share the same coastline.
The Dnipro River “is loaded with sediment and nutrients which will reach the northern area of the coastline, the mouth of the Danube River,” Florin Timofte, from the National Institute for Marine Research and Development, said.
“The sediment is carried by currents to the South of the coastline. The contaminated water from Ukraine will then mix with the Danube and descend south of the coastline.”
Timofte warned that this will stimulate the growth of phytoplankton algae, and ultimately decrease the quality of the water.
Some Romanians have voiced their concerns about the long-term environmental consequences of the dam collapse and about the water’s level of cleanliness.
But in neighbouring Bulgaria, representatives from the Institute of Oceanology said it was unlikely that the debris wave would pose serious consequences for the country.
However, the Kakhovka breach also uprooted landmines, tore through caches of weapons and ammunition, and spilt 150 tonnes of machine oil into the Black Sea which poses a real threat to ships in the area.