Russia’s sent hundreds of soldiers to help clean-up thousands of tonnes of oil that leaked after a heavy storm broke apart a tanker near the Black Sea. As many as ten ships sank or ran aground in Sunday’s severe weather including two freighters which shed a load of sulphur. The spill from the tanker in the strait connecting the Black and Azov seas could be the worst environmental disaster to hit the region in recent years.
13 sailors have been rescued from the sea, but five are still missing – and with conditions still bad, authorities say there is little hope of finding them alive. Anatoly Yanchuk, director of the rescue service, says a decision on the effectiveness of continuing with an active search will probably be taken later today.
The long-term effects of the spill are still unclear, but some experts believe it will take years to complete the clean up operation.
For now, however, we know that more than 30,000 birds have been killed and countless others need urgent help to survive.