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article imageFears of more oil spills as cargo ship Rena breaks apart NZ

By Katerina Nikolas     Jan 8, 2012 in Environment
Overnight the stranded Greek cargo ship Rena, grounded off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, has split in two. Marine authorities are preparing for a further release of oil.
The cargo ship Rena that has been stranded off the coast of New Zealand since October, has broken in two. The Greek owned cargo ship hit the Astrolabe Reef, off the Island resort of Tauranga on Oct 5., resulting in New Zealand's worst maritime disaster.
Ross Henderson, spokesman for Maritime New Zealand, told the BBC: "Overnight, the vessel was hit by wave action of up to 6m, heavy winds and heavy seas. That's caused the ship to break into two parts." He said the rear section has broken away, adding "We don't yet know what amount of oil may have been released, but we are gearing up for an expected release of oil and container debris on shore, and have response teams ready to go once that starts happening."
Earlier this week the Telegraph released this video, showing the imminent danger of the ship breaking apart.
Salvage crews have been actively removing containers from the stranded ship but have been hampered by sea conditions. ABC News reported that approximately 385 tons of oil remained on board the grounded ship. Debris from spilled containers includes powdered baby milk, bales of recycled plastic, and timber, is expected to begin washing ashore on Sunday. Severe weather is likely to continue or at least three more days, creating hazardous conditions.
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