World

Spain activates environmental alert as oil spill threatens vulnerable Canary Island beaches

Spain's government has activated an environmental emergency alert over an oil slick that threatens pristine beaches on the southwestern Canary Islands.

The government activated a level 2 alert after analyzing ocean current data from Spain's Oceanographic Institute, saying the slick that reached coastlines earlier in the week could affect vulnerable land. Level 2 is the second highest alert level.

The government said Saturday one beach has been cleared of oil and clean-up operations are ongoing on three other beaches near the tourist hot-spot of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria.

The Russian trawler Oleg Naydenov, carrying 1,400 metric tons of fuel oil, caught fire in a nearby port on April 11. It was towed out to sea, some 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of the island, where it sank three days later.