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At least 30% of samples taken from surface water bodies and recreation areas of Kherson, Odesa, and Mykolaiv Oblasts do not meet hygiene standards, in the aftermath of the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, the health ministry reported on June 19.
Odesa Oblast is currently under the greatest threat, with the most significant and constant exceedances of sanitary-chemical, microbiological and toxicological indicators, the report said.
"The most significant deviations from the safety indicators according to virological, microbiological and parasitological studies were recorded in Odesa region," said Deputy Health Minister Ihor Kuzin.
About 40 surface water monitoring points have been set up along the river channel in the flood zone and along the sea coast in Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblasts. The most dangerous pollutants are salmonella, rotavirus, worm eggs, larvae, and E. coli.
On June 13, laboratory analysis confirmed the presence of E. coli and cholera in the waters near the city of Kherson. On June 15, Health Minister Viktor Liashko said the water in the Dnipro River is "tens of thousands of times" more polluted due to the Kakhovka dam breach.
The State Border Guard Service in Odesa said on June 10 that the seaside was turning into a "garbage dump and an animal cemetery" as debris from the flooded river washed into the sea.
The Kakhovka dam collapsed on June 6, causing a large-scale environmental and humanitarian disaster, including massive flooding of the Dnipro River. Ukraine's military said that Russian forces destroyed the dam.