Water Supply Resumes for Almost 4 Million Chinese

The Chinese city of Harbin has restored running water for nearly four-million people, after a five-day cutoff forced by toxic pollution in the river that supplies the city.

State television showed the local governor drinking a glass of boiled water and reassuring locals it was safe to drink.

But the Associated Press quotes the deputy general of the Harbin water department saying residents should not immediately drink the water - even if it is boiled.

Wang Minghe said the water is still dangerous because it has been sitting in pipes and may be contaminated from the benzene spill.

Officials say the 80-kilometer-long chemical slick in the Songhua River has passed Harbin. It is expected to reach Russia within days.

A November 13 factory explosion caused 100 tons of potentially cancer-causing benzene to spill into the river upstream from the city.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.