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Hong Kongers warned off seafood from tsunami-hit waters
Updated: 2005-01-05 13:16

Hong Kong health chiefs warned shoppers, restaurateurs and food suppliers not to buy seafood from tsunami-hit countries for fear it may be contaminated by pollutants stirred by the violent waves.

Officials are concerned that heavy metals dragged up from the seabed or agricultural contaminants washed off the land by the crashing waves may have found its way into the marine food chain.

"We cannot force anybody to stop eating this food, but we highly recommend they avoid it," a spokesman for the food and environmental hygiene department said.

The tsunami, triggered by a massive underwater earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the north Indonesian island of Sumatra on December 26, slammed into coastal communities of 11 nations, killing some 146,000 people and leaving millions more homeless.

The environmental damage was similarly devastating, with huge swathes of coral reef destroyed as the roiling waters shifted huge amounts of seafloor debris.

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