On October 14, 2010, a massive industrial waste spill carved a ruddy scar across the Earth's surface, after a million cubic meters of sludge poured through Ajka, Hungary and the nearby towns of Devecser and Kolontár.

This toxic deluge — which was the byproduct of a bauxite processing plant and was released when a retaining wall burst — killed nine people, left millions of dollars of property damage, and stained the landscape a sickly red. Spanish photographer Palíndromo Mészáros took these photos six months after the disaster, when the region still bore the marks of this flood. Explains Mészáros of Hungary's largest ecological catastrophe:

Without the protectionism of this previous [Soviet] model, the old factories, with their outdated machinery, were seen as a huge weight to carry on for the correct economic transition of the country and, as it happened to most of the [country's] public companies, they were the subject of an accelerated privatization with a quite questionable transaction value.

You can see more photos of the aftermath in Akja at Mészáros' site.

[Palindromo Mészáros via Treehugger]