Israel Nature Reserve Oil Spill ‘One of Country’s Worst Environmental Disasters’

ENVIRONMENT, 8 Dec 2014

Reuters – TRANSCEND Media Service

Oil spill floods Israeli nature reserve. Three people hospitalized after inhaling fumes from oil gushing out of a breached pipeline near Evrona reserve.

Crude oil streams through the desert in south Israel, near the village of Beer Ora, north of Eilat, December 4, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Yehuda Ben Itach

Crude oil streams through the desert in south Israel, near the village of Beer Ora, north of Eilat, December 4, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Yehuda Ben Itach

4 Dec 2014 – Millions of liters of oil gushing out of a breached pipeline flooded a desert nature reserve in Israel overnight, causing one of the country’s worst environmental disasters, officials and media said.

Three people were hospitalized after inhaling fumes released by an accidental rupture in the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline near the Evrona reserve, on the Jordanian border, police said.

Israel Radio reported Wednesday [3 Dec 2014] night’s breach happened during maintenance work.

The main road leading to Eilat, a Red Sea resort, from central Israel was closed intermittently as emergency teams contained the leak.

Evrona is known for its deer population and douma palms.

“Crude oil flowed throughout the reserve, causing serious damage … to flora and fauna,” Environment Ministry official Guy Samet told Israel Radio on Thursday. He estimated the spillage at millions of liters.

Crude oil streams through the desert in south Israel, near the village of Beer Ora, north of Eilat December 4, 2014. Credit: REUTERS/Yehuda Ben Itach

Crude oil streams through the desert in south Israel, near the village of Beer Ora, north of Eilat December 4, 2014.
Credit: REUTERS/Yehuda Ben Itach

“Rehabilitation will take months, if not years .. This is one of the State of Israel’s gravest pollution events. We are still having trouble gauging the full extent of the contamination.”

There was no immediate word of any injuries or damage on the Jordanian side of the frontier.

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Writing by Dan Williams. Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Andrew Heavens.

Go to Original – reuters.com

 

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