Kolontár’s wounds are deep. Five years ago, on October 4, 2010, roughly one million cubic meters of liquid chemical waste burst from a red mud reservoir of the Ajka Alumina Plant. The 2-4 meters high wave of toxic sludge flooded the small village west of Budapest, and minutes later, six other villages and towns.
The toxic red sludge spill in Hungary that killed four people Monday could take a year to clean up, authorities there said. Meanwhile, workers are still trying to stop the spill from spreading to the Danube and Raba rivers.
You might not know what alumina is—neither did I. But hundreds of Hungarians do, after torrents of the stuff poured out of a plant and through their villages, prompting the country to declare a state of emergency. UPDATED