The oil spill that’s polluting beaches along the northeast coast of Australia is 10 times worse than originally thought, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Officials now say that about 253 tons of oil leaked from a Hong Kong ship on Wednesday, damaging dozens of beaches that span 37 miles in what has been declared a disaster area, BBC says.
Today workers began the clean-up effort, which could last a month and cost the ship’s owners more than $1 million. “We’re devastated,” said a resident. Others expressed concern for the area’s marine life and one official blasted the government for getting “caught short.” Meanwhile, 661 tons of fertilizer lost by the ship remains missing. “That’s a big worry,” said one business owner.