DOE: Dead fish incident in Sungai Gombak due to lack of oxygen

The Kuala Lumpur DOE said August 21, 2019 although the water quality Sungai Gombak was rated at class three for pollution, deemed unsuitable for water activities, investigations did not find any chemical residues which could be linked to poisoning. — Bernama pic
The Kuala Lumpur DOE said August 21, 2019 although the water quality Sungai Gombak was rated at class three for pollution, deemed unsuitable for water activities, investigations did not find any chemical residues which could be linked to poisoning. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — The dead fish incident which saw hundreds of fish floating on the surface of the Sungai Gombak earlier this month, is believed to be due to lack of oxygen, rather than pollution, says Kuala Lumpur Department of Environment (DOE) director Nor Aziah Jaafar.

She said preliminary investigations revealed that the cause of the death of the fishes, which were mostly tilapia, was due to heavy rains which caused the river’s underlying sediments to rise due to high currents, blocking the gills of the marine species.

She said although the water quality Sungai Gombak was rated at class three for pollution, deemed unsuitable for water activities, investigations did not find any chemical residues which could be linked to poisoning, as claimed by those who saw the incident occur.

“According to preliminary investigations, we found that most of the gills were filled with sediments from the river base, whereby the fish died from lack of oxygen. We also referred to the Fisheries Department for verification.

“However, we are still investigating other causes, as there is a lot of water coming from public drains into the river, but there are no industrial buildings nearby,” she said when contacted by Bernama today.

Nor Aziah said samples taken by the DOE had been submitted to the Chemistry Department for analysis and the results were expected to be known within a month.

Images of hundreds of dead fish found floating in Sungai Gombak, near Jalan Pekeliling Lama on August 9, had gone viral on social media, shocking netizens.

Meanwhile, Nor Aziah said a special task force had been set up for a thorough investigation into the incident. — Bernama

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