Syrian oil spill spreads across the Mediterranean and could reach Cyprus on Wednesday
Last week, a tank filled with 15,000 tons of fuel was discovered to have been leaking since August 23 at a thermal power plant on the Syrian coastal city of Baniyas. Although Syrian officials claimed to have brought the leak under control, the oil spill is growing and spreading across the Mediterranean Sea and could reach the island of Cyprus by Wednesday, according to authorities. Satellite imagery analysis conducted by Orbital EOS indicates that the spill was much larger than originally thought, spreading across 800 square kilometers. This means that the size of the oil leak is roughly the same as the area of New York City. On Tuesday, the oil was just 4 miles from the coast of Cyprus.
The Cypriot Department of Fisheries and Marine research conducted their own investigation, determining that the oil would likely reach the shore at around 11 a.m. local time today. Photos have circulated across social media showing the oil slick along the coastal areas of Syria, in the cities of Baniyas and Jableh. Officials have warned that the oil leak could pose a serious threat to marine life.