Authorities in the Italian port of Genoa declared a state of emergency on April 23 after hundreds of tonnes of oil from a refinery spilled into the Mediterranean. This came after a river barrier erected to contain the spillage from a pipeline leak gave way as a result of heavy overnight rain. Local media said a series of slicks had been spotted offshore to the west of the port, the largest two kilometres long.
Genoa mayor Marco Doria said a plan to contain the spill was being implemented and appeared to be working. “Presumably the oil already in the sea is from the first hours of the incident at the Iplom refinery,” he said. New barriers have now been put in place.
The initial leak sent large quantities of oil into the Polcevera river but authorities claimed to have contained it within hours and have been pumping it out since then.
The Iplom refinery at Bussala refinery where the leak came from is due to cease production on April 25 for economic reasons, local media said.