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2 Aug, 2014 19:09

State of emergency in Ohio as over 400,000 warned to not drink toxic tap water

State of emergency in Ohio as over 400,000 warned to not drink toxic tap water

A state of emergency has been declared in northwest Ohio after about 400,000 people were warned not to drink water as tests revealed the presence of a toxin in it.

Ohio Governor John Kasich declared a State of Emergency for all areas of the state that are supplied with water from the City of Toledo facilities.

The state emergency operations center has been activated in response to the water contamination issue affecting the Toledo area.

— Ohio_EMA (@Ohio_EMA) August 2, 2014

Gov. John Kasich's emergency order will allow the state to begin bringing water into the Toledo area. Meanwhile, stores around Toledo are reported to be running out of bottled water as residents rushed to stock up supplies.

Kroger in Toledo, Ohio after 400,000 or so residents are told to not touch or drink tap water pic.twitter.com/xc9K9bVz2M

— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) August 2, 2014

At the same time, residents have been told not to boil the water because it will only increase the toxin’s concentration. Residents have also been warned not to cook using the city/county water as well as not use the water for bathing children.

Consuming the poisoned water could result in vomiting, diarrhea and health deterioration.

"These organisms are capable of producing a number of toxins that may pose a risk to human and animal health," Toledo authorities said in a press-release.

Toledo health official telling restaurants to close #watermageddon

— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) August 2, 2014

Toledo's mayor D. Michael Collins has said it was too early to say how long the water advisory will stay in place. More tests are being conducted and results are expected later Saturday.

According to Collins, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the water emergency.

We're working with local officials to get the water situation fixed in Toledo. Follow @Ohio_EMA for updates. http://t.co/K003w7r3qK

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 2, 2014

"First and foremost, residents must remain calm," the Toledo mayor said at a morning press conference.

The warning is affecting several suburbs of Toledo as well as a few areas in southeastern Michigan.

So far it is suspected that the toxin is possibly the result of algae blooms on Lake Erie, where the city takes it water.

Chemists testing water at Toledo's Collins Park Water Treatment Plant had two sample readings for microcystin.