Local authorities in the Venezuelan state of Anzoategui have announced the closure of several beaches as a result of an oil spill that covers several kilometres of coastline.
The situation was particularly bad near the city of Lechería, one of Venezuela's top tourist destinations. The local mayor has ordered that nearby beaches must close for at least 72 hours, while efforts to clean up the mess continue.
The government of President Nicolás Maduro and the state-owned PDVSA oil company have yet to announce what caused the spill, or how much oil has been released along the coast.
Government critics blame inadequate maintenance and a lack of investment to improve obsolete infrastructure, saying spills and failures have become more frequent as a result.
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