Oil slick size of New York pollutes Mediterranean after Syria leak

Mauritius scrambles to counter oil spill from grounded ship

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The spill covers around 309 square miles, satellite imagery shows. It originated at the Baniyas oil refinery in Syria following a leak last week. Turkish-Cypriot authorities on the north of the island said yesterday that the spill was just 15 nautical miles from Cyprus. They are bracing themselves for an environmental crisis. Cemaliye Ozverel Ekinci, head of the chamber of environmental engineers in the Turkish-controlled north, said: “It [will be] a complete disaster for the marine ecosystem.

“This problem is not just a problem that concerns Northern Cyprus. We should act together with the south.”

Syria’s electricity minister, Ghassan al-Zamil, told the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper that the size of the leak ranged from two to four tons of fuel. He said the cause would be investigated.

However, officials have since said that a tank filled with 15,000 tons of fuel had been leaking since August 23.

They claim that the leak has been brought under control.

However, Syrian authorities have been accused of down-playing the scale of last Tuesday’s spill, which the head of the General Directorate of Syrian Ports described as “not large”.

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