Monday, November 12, 2007

Environmental disasters hit Russia, US & UK

One of the stricken vessels in the Black Sea

Russia is seeing its worst environmental disaster in a century with some Russian officials saying it may take decades to clean up a massive oil spill. Storms hit several ships in the Black sea during the weekend and reports say that up to ten ships have sunk and at least 2 sailors are confirmed dead. Oil, sulphur and scrap metal has spilled into the sea which borders several countries including Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Environmentalists are calling the spills a “catastrophe” and say that thousands of birds have already been caught up in the pollution. At least 2,000 metric tones of fuel have so far polluted the inland sea and 20 sailors have been reported missing [BBC] .

Meanwhile, authorities are continuing to tackle an oil spill in the US after a tanker collision resulted in a massive fuel spillage. More than 250,000 litres of fuel oil leaked from the Korean bound tanker after the accident last Wednesday in San Francisco Bay. Already, hundreds of birds have died [CNN].

And in London there are now concerns after asbestos was found to be in the massive smoke plumes that enveloped East London on Monday. Police have told the public not to panic but to close windows and doors [Sky News] .

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