Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
War. What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing.

While the war rages on, a huge environmental disaster is threatening Lebanon's coast. Up to 35,000 tons of oil have spilled into the Mediterranean following Israeli air strikes -- now it is a race against time to prevent long-term damage and the destruction of a fragile ecosystem.

In an interview with the BBC, the ministry's director general, Berj Hatjian, compared the oil slick to that caused by the Exxon Valdez tanker, "with 20,000 to 30,000 tons reaching the shoreline." When the tanker sank off the coast of Alaska in 1989, 40,000 tons of oil were released into the sea. The result was the worst ever maritime environmental disaster. Hundreds of thousands of animals died, and because the oil spill could not be completely cleaned up animals are still being poisoned today.

The environmental impact of the current oil slick is not confined to Lebanon and risks spreading through the Mediterranean. The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Center (Rempec), based in Malta, has already recorded the first traces of oil on the Syrian coast -- confirming reports of contamination made by the port authority at Syria's coastal town of Tartus. Environmental groups in Lebanon are also warning that the pollution could reach the coasts of Turkey and Cyprus.
Blogger GreyHair said...
What an incredible tragedy .... the whole thing. "Birth pangs" my ass ......