The toxic mud that flooded several Hungarian villages has reached the Danube River. Emergency officials are taking steps to limit the damage as much as possible.

Anna Nagy, a Hungarian Disaster Management official, said the country views the situation as a disaster. She is quoted on CNN as saying “It is a huge tragedy for the whole country. We love the Danube, we’re very proud of the Danube and we tried to protect it. I hope we can save the life in the river.” 

The toxic sludge came from a reservoir at an aluminum plant. The reservoir burst on Monday. The resulting flood swamped several villages. The floods took 4 lives. 250 people had to evacuate their homes. While no official word of the exact combination of chemicals within the mud has been provided, it is expected that the mud is contaminated with cyanide, cadmium and chromium, all byproducts of aluminum production.

The toxic mud may be less dangerous now than when it first flowed over the Hungarian counties of Veszprem, Gyor-Moson-Sopron and Vas. Over the past few days, emergency workers have been battling the alkalinity of the mud with plaster and fertilizers. The pH levels appear to have dropped to what is considered safer. Officials are monitoring the Danube river for signs of toxicity. It is hoped that the damage is much less than first anticipated.

The reservoir is reported to be repaired and no longer leaking. The sludge that has already leaked is where the danger lies. No one is certain when those left homeless will be able to return to their homes.