AN OIL spill in the Karpas peninsula in the occupied north has caused one of the largest environmental disasters the island has faced, it was reported on Tuesday.
Around 100 tonnes of oil were spilt at around 2am after a pipeline from a tanker broke during attempts to supply the AKSA Energy power station (pictured).
Reports from the north claim the oil spill covered a radius of five kilometres on the southern side of the Karpas, towards the occupied village of Vokolida or Bafra as it is known in the north. From the spill a nearby fish farm was affected, reports said.
Efforts to clean the area are ongoing as a crisis management team has been assembled to deal with the problem. A special ship which deals with oil spills was reportedly on the way from Mersin in Turkey.
‘Foreign Minister’ Kutlay Erk said that the UN and Ankara had both been contacted to help with the clean-up process.
According to reports from the north, Erk strongly criticised AKSA for their role in the disaster and said those found at fault would be punished.
The north’s ‘Environment Minister’ Mehmet Harmanci carried out an inspection on the area and told reporters that the north did not possess the means to deal with such crises. He gave assurances that whoever was to blame for the incident would be punished.
The head of the power station said that the accident was due to a technical fault.
The Association of Turkish Cypriot Biologists labelled it the largest environmental catastrophe in the island’s history. The association’s general secretary, Hasan Sarpten, said that no matter how much effort was made to clean-up the spill, around 20 per cent of the oil would never be removed from the sea.