By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 01,2018

AMMAN — The friends of the Dead Sea Society on Sunday denied news reports claiming that the Dead Sea’s water was polluted due to chemical leaks from the Israeli side of the salty lake.

News reports circulated on the social media and WhatsApp messaging application this week claimed that the Dead Sea water had been contaminated by poisonous chemicals that leaked from the Israeli shore, urging people to avoid swimming in its water.

Friends of the Dead Sea Society’s spokesperson Mona Nimri stated that, while it is true that a chemical leak occurred on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea in June, claims that the chemicals leaked into the Dead Sea and contaminated it were “baseless”.

In mid-June, Israeli newspapers reported that a leak from a bromine factory near the Dead Sea had happened, prompting authorities to instruct residents of nearby communities to stay indoors. The Israeli media said that the leak situation was addressed after two hours.

Photos in Israeli media then showed formation of clouds of orange gas over the site of the leak at the bromine factory.

“The society released its statement on Sunday to assure the public that the gas leak did not affect Jordan, especially as local authorities inspected the area at the time of the leak to make sure that Jordan’s part of the Dead Sea was not affected,” Nimri told The Jordan Times.

The Ministry of Environment was not available for comment when contacted by The Jordan Times on Sunday.