The Red Monster

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On Oct. 4th, 2010, a reservoir wall in Hungary collapsed, flooding nearby towns with 184 million gallons of red, toxic waste from an aluminum production plant. The chemical wave killed 10 people and indiscriminately turned everything -- and everyone -- red. The year since that fateful day has been marked by the resilience of residents and a monumental cleanup process, as the people of an unsuspecting town worked to rid themselves of a Martian-red existence full of stained reminders of a environmental catastrophe.


An aerial view of the ruptured wall at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar  manufacturing plant and the aftermath of its caustic red wave in Oct. 2010. 


Lines left behind by the sludge mark the height of the wave as it roared through the town. 


Homes were filled with the toxic sludge. In some, the flood lines were closer to the ceilings than the floors.


A dog covered in the red chemical mud on Oct. 5, 2010, one day after the reservoir wall broke.



A photo taken from above the reservoir shows the cracked failure point that triggered the deluge.


Rescue workers walk on a street covered in red sludge in Devecser, 93 miles west of Budapest, on October 11, 2010.


A clean up crew sprays gypsum to neutralize the toxic red slush.


An old man works inside his house in Devecser with a shovel on OC. 9, 2010.


One year later: Hungarian farmer Imre Vagi, with his young poplars, has bounced back from the lethal flood.


The ruptured reservoir of toxic aluminum waste today. 


This home in Kolontar bore the brunt of the red wave -- and now awaits demolition.


Evacuees are moving into new homes such as the ones seen above.


On the one- year anniversary of the red flood, citizens may soon be saying goodbye to the worst of the abandoned, red-washed reminders of a tide of chemical destruction.

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