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Hungary activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and requests technical expertise to combat mud pollution

A rescue worker searching for victims in the polluted village of Kolontar © PHOTOPQR/LE PARISIEN/Philippe de Poulpiquet
08/10/2010  - 

At 19h36 of 07 October, Hungary activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for urgent international assistance in response to the pollution caused by the breakdown of a sludge depository in the city of Ajka. The Hungarian authorities have identified an immediate need for three to five experts with strong field experience in handling toxic sludge, decontamination and mitigation of environmental damage. Since 4 October the Monitoring and Information Centre(MIC) has been in close contact with the Hungarian authorities to gather information on the incident so that it could react quickly should a request of support come from Hungary. The MIC immediately communicated the request to the 31 countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and expects offers soon. After the activation of the Mechanism, Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner responsible for Crisis Response, said "Hungary has been affected by an environmental catastrophe. Disasters like this do not stop at national borders and a combined European response can help deliver the most effective assistance possible. In this moment of need, I call all EU Member States to respond with generosity to the request of Hungary".