Friday, August 4, 2006

Environmental Disaster Looms; Oil spill threatens Mediterranean after power plant hit; Cleanup along Lebanon's coast can't begin until fighting ends

BEIRUT — Endangered turtles die shortly after hatching from their eggs. Fish float dead off the coast. Flaming oil sends waves of black smoke toward the city.

In this country of Mediterranean beaches and snow-capped mountains, Israeli bombing that caused an oil spill has created an environmental disaster. And cleanup can't start until the fighting stops, the United Nations said.

World attention has focused on the hundreds of people who have died in the three-week-old conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The environmental damage has attracted little attention but experts warn the long-term effects could be devastating.

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