TEL AVIV – Israel is undergoing a mass clean-up of its beaches after an oil spill from an unidentified vessel left much of the country’s 120-mile Mediterranean coastline covered in black sticky tar, in one of worst ecological disasters in the country’s history.
Tar-covered turtles, a whale and other wildlife have washed up on Israeli shores in recent days, photos on social media show. The first reports of the spill came last week after a winter storm created strong waves that brought drops of tar to Israel’s northern coast.
The spill affected 90 percent of Israel’s coastline and the cleanup could take months or even years, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said.
On Tuesday, the Israeli government approved allocation plans of $ 13.8 million to clean up its coastline.
Authorities are looking for the ship responsible for the spill, Israeli officials say. European oil spill experts in contact with Israeli authorities said the tarry nature of the oil suggested it might have been exposed to the elements for some time.