Huge slick

Published: Monday 15 September 2003

-- Thousands of tonnes of oil has spilled into the Arabian Sea from MV Tasman Spirit -- the Greek tanker that ran aground off the Karachi coast in Pakistan. Even as a massive clean-up operation is on in the port city, about 35,000 metric tonnes of crude oil is still believed to be inside the wrecked vessel.

Officials have expectedly tried to play down the damage, but environmentalists are concerned about the destructive potential of the incident. According to World Conservation Union estimates, 16 kilometres of the seacoast has already been polluted. Worried about the impending threat to mangrove forests and marine life, Tahir Quereshi of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature said: "This is an ecological, environmental and economic disaster. Oil spillage always has a long term and short-term effect."

Efforts are still on to salvage the remaining oil from the tanker

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