Environmental monitoring has detected an excessive amount of the harmful gas benzene ne
ar the site of a deadly explosion in Xiangshui county of Jiangsu province, authorities said on Thursday.
At 10 am on Wednesday, the benzene density stood at 2.04 milligrams per cubic meter at a monitoring point that is 1 kilometer away in the downwind direc
tion from the site, about 17.5 times more than the national standard. The concentration was below the standard, how
ever, 2 and 3.5 kilometers away, according to a media release from the Jiangsu environmental watchdog.
“Analysis done by environmental experts working on the site shows that the excessive den
sity of benzene occurred because buried pollutants were gradually exposed to the air as cleaning work cont
inues on the site,” Liu Youbin, spokesman of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a news conference on Thursday.
The explosion occurred at about 2:48 pm on March 21 after a fire broke out in a plant owned by Jiang
su Tianjiayi Chemical Co. So far, the blast has claimed the lives of 78 people and injured more than 600 people.
hinese herbal medicine,” said Ruan Jian, deputy manager of Anlong Xic
heng Xiushu Agriculture and Forestry. “Zhegui village has sufficient forest coverage, with p
roper altitude and climatic conditions, which is very suitable for growing imitation wild dendrobium.”
The plant, a member of the orchid family, is known as an important traditional medi
cine in China since many of its biomedical benefits have been scientifically examined.
Wild dendrobium officinale became an endangered species in the 1980s. However, with
the breakthrough of tissue culture technology in the early 2000s, artificially cultivated plants entered the market.
With the expansion in scale, dendrobium planted in some region
s suffered from problems such as pesticide residue, elevated levels of heavy metals and poor quality.
dle-income earners with higher-education backgrounds. “They are not billionaires, bu
t they can afford to buy a house and live a decent life, even without a job, for three or five years,” Chu said.
“Most important, they came to Dali with the idea of living a slow, simple, idyllic lifestyle that is differen
t to that in the big cities. Some say their dreams have already come true, but others feel they made the wrong decision.”
With an increasing number of newcomers arriving, Dali’s tourism and real estate markets have prospered since 2015. According to the local government, 24 p
ercent of property in the city was bought by new arrivals in 2015. Two years later, the number had risen to 60 percent.
Housing prices have surged from 6,392 yuan ($952 at the current rate) per square meter in December 2015 to 11,788 yuan per sq m in the same month last year.
A source at Yunnan Shili Real Estate Development Group, who requested anonymity, sai
d more than 80 percent of the commercial property on its books in Dali had been bought by nonlocals.
e protection zone, which lies within 15 meters of the shoreline, they were demolished, and she
will be compensated by local authorities. However, Wang said she does not believe the money can make up for her losses.
She has debts of 3 million yuan – mostly borrowed from relatives and friends. She said she regretted moving to Dali to pursue an idyllic life.
While some are not happy that they moved, others are glad they made the transition from big-city life.
Yang Yi, 48, who operates a restaurant in Dali’s ancient walled city, arrived eight years ago fr
om Chongqing after falling in love with the city on a visit. He bought a house and settled down.
“I have traveled to a lot of places, both at home and abroad, but I was overwhelmed by the natur
al beauty of Dali, a place that can calm you. I feel this city is the most pleasant one I have been to, and it is where my heart is now,” Yang said.
For decades, many tourists have fallen in love with Dali’s beautiful weather, stunning mountains, lakeside scenery and vibrant ethnic culture.