Thursday, August 10, 2006

Environmental disaster in Lebanon

The United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) has expressed its "grave concern" about oil pollution in Lebanese coastal waters.

The oil slick caused by Israeli bombing of a power station now covers 120km (75 miles) of the region's coasts. Experts estimate the spill caused by the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese power plant could be around 45,000 tonnes. By comparison, the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker slick in Alaska was slightly under 40,000 tonnes which led to widespread ecological damage.

Local environmental groups describe the slick as an "environmental disaster." Lebanon's coastline could take up to 10 years to recover from this massive oil spill, say local experts. The damage to human health, destruction to fisheries and tourism will add to unfolding death toll and misery as the fighting ravages on unabated.

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