Greece beach black with oil after tanker shipwrecks

The shoreline of a Greek island has been left polluted and black with oil, after a small tanker shipwrecked on Sunday (local time).

Salamina mayor Isidora Nannou says the island is popular with tourists, with some permanent residents - who have left their homes after the spill.

And the beach won't be filled with holidayers either for a while. More than two kilometres of shoreline has been polluted by the oil slick.

Oil that leaked from a small oil tanker that sank on September 10, is seen on a beach on Salamina island, Greece, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis - RC132F6290A0
Photo credit: Reuters

Ms Nannou says it's a "great ecological and economic disaster".

"Apart from the difficulty of the whole situation, there is also difficulty in breathing and inhaling all these odours," she told the Associated Press, explaining that's why some residents left.

From the beach, the damage is clear. Thick black oil clogs the waves, spilling and settling over the rocky coastline as the tide comes in.

Clean-up crews carry the waste away in plastic bags, but more still remains to be cleared away the next day.

Rocks are covered with oil that leaked from a small oil tanker that sank on September 10 off the shores of Salamina island, Greece, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis - RC141E83B310
Photo credit: Reuters

The islanders have been told it'll take a month to clean up.

"A month is too long to tolerate these odours and this type of environment on our Salamina," Ms Nannou said.

The Agia Zoni II, carrying around 2200 tonnes of fuel oil and 370 tonnes of marine gas oil, sank while anchored off Salamina's coast on Sunday (local time). Two crew members had to be rescued.

Newshub.