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An oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea could soon reach the northeast coast of Cyprus, officials have warned.

The spill is believed to have originated from a power plant located inside one of Syria’s oil refineries.

The Cypriot Department of Fisheries and Marine Research said the oil spill could affect Cape Apostolos Andreas in the north of the ethnically divided island by Tuesday evening.

The ministry said information and photographs received from ships in the area show that the slick is a thin layer of oil rather than a thick layer of crude.

The Syrian state news agency said last week that the spill occurred after fuel leaked from a tank at the Baniyas spa resort, about 160 kilometers from Cyprus.

Meanwhile, an official from the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said a slick containing 20,000 tonnes of oil had formed in the Mediterranean.

“We are facing a very big disaster,” said Erol Adalier of the Deep Diving Center, which is helping to contain the spread of the slick in the Karpas Peninsula.

The Cypriot government has informed the Turkish Cypriot authorities of the advance of the slick and is ready to offer any assistance.

Turkey – the only country to recognize the TRNC – has also sent response teams and ships, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Monday.

Most of Syria’s oil resources lie outside government-controlled areas, but two refineries are under government control.

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euronews Gt

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