Daily Management Review

Major environmental disaster occurs in Israel


Israeli authorities have closed all Mediterranean beaches along 170 kilometres. The reason, says the weekly magazine Spiegel, was that the coastal waters were found to be polluted with oil products.

The local authorities say it is one of the biggest disasters at sea in recent decades, killing many marine creatures: turtles, sea birds and even a fin whale.

The source of the pollution has not yet been identified. Several tankers are believed to have inadvertently or even deliberately poured fuel oil into the sea. The European Maritime Safety Agency supposes that this may have happened 50 kilometres off the Israeli coast. Ten vessels are under suspicion. Forthcoming examination of samples of the spilled fuel will show which one of them will be the culprit of the disaster.

Along with specialists, the army and many volunteers are working to clear the contaminated area. Some of them have unfortunately been hospitalized after inhaling poisonous fumes. That is why the authorities have forbidden any amateurism on the shore. Volunteers can help the professionals only with the permission of the local administration and in appropriate protective gear.

Environment Minister Gila Gamliel said the environmental problem could not be dealt with in a few days. "We have a long and difficult job ahead of us," she said. The ministry fears that it will take years to finally clear the contaminated area.

source: spiegel.de