Lethal aftershock

The most potent fallout from the September 15 earthquake that rocked the Andaman archipelago has been a 50-kilogramme leakage of lethal mercury from east island lighthouse in North Andaman. The local administration is said to be downplaying the implications of the spill, which poses a health hazard to the local people and the fragile ecology of the entire region. Environmental organisations have, however, expressed apprehension over the possible repercussions of the leakage in the long run. "The marine life around North Andamans will be worst affected,' said Samir Acharya of Save Andaman Nicobar Ecology (sane), a non-governmental organisation. "The spilled mercury would find its way into the coastal waters. The resultant toxicity would threaten the flora and fauna and enter the food chain,' he warned.