— -- Thousands of dead fish have recently washed up on the shores of Tianjin, just a little over a week since two deadly explosions devastated the port city in China, according to officials and Chinese state media reports, and some fear the phenomenon may have been caused by toxic chemicals from the blasts.
After photos of the fish started going viral on Chinese social media such as Weibo, also known as China's Twitter, the director of the Tianjin Environmental Monitoring Center has launched an investigation into the cause of death of the thousands of fish, according to Chinese newspaper, the People's Daily.
The center's director, Deng Xiowen said experts from local fishing and aquatic departments would announce the reason for the massive amounts of dead fish as soon as possible, People's Daily reported. Officials from the Tanggu Bureau of Aquatic Products were photographed at the beach today.
The blasts last week at a warehouse for hazardous material claimed the lives of at least 114 people, Tianjin government spokesman Gong Jiansheng said at a news conference Monday. He said that 70 people were still missing.
The explosion was so powerful that cars melted and homes crumbled.
At a previous press conference, Xiowen said no toxic levels of cyanide have been detected in water samples taken from a Tianjin river where a large number of dead fish were spotted after last week's explosions.
He explained that the large amount of dead fish was normal during hot summers when run-off pollution from the the land may flow into the river and sea after rainfall, which may cause eutrophication and suffocate the fish.
However, users on Chinese social media have still expressed worry that hazardous chemicals from the blast may have have contaminated local waters and cause future health problems for residents in the area.