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Oil Spills in Hurghada Threaten Marine Life, Tourism

Source: Al Masry Al Youm 6/19/2010, Location: Egypt

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Massive oil spills appeared yesterday in the Red Sea, covering a distance of approximately 20km from el-Gouna in the north down to Sahl Hashish in the south. The source of the spill has yet to be identified.

Environmental authorities had received several reports yesterday from tourist resorts saying that large oil spills have appeared around their beaches.

Several hoteliers have decided to submit a report against the ministries of petroleum and environment, as they say the spills have caused serious damage to their beaches and forced tourists to abandon their hotels.

Mahmoud Abdel Rahim, a professor of science, warned of a possible environmental catastrophe, saying the oil spill may lead to the death of large numbers of fish and other marine creatures.

Meanwhile, Red Sea Governor Magdi Qobayessi said that a committee has been assembled to determine the source of the spill and begin cleaning it up. The committee is composed of members from the regional branch of the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency, the Center for the Combat of Petroleum Pollution, and the Red Sea Protectorates Authority.

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