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China Port Reopens After Oil Spill, Cleanup Continues

Officials at a port in northeast China say most maritime operations have resumed while crews work to clean up a huge oil spill.

Authorities in the city of Dalian lifted a partial ban on maritime traffic Tuesday, four days after explosions destroyed two crude oil pipelines in Xingang Port. It took 2,000 firefighters 15 hours to contain the blaze.

Oil that spilled from the pipes now covers 180 square kilometers in the Yellow Sea. News reports say heavy rains and strong winds are hampering efforts to prevent the slick from spreading.

China's official news agency Xinhua says shipments of oil from Dalian to southern China have been reduced until the cleanup is completed. Dalian operates the country's largest crude-oil terminal.

The explosions occurred Friday at a depot run by the China National Petroleum Corporation, China's largest oil company.

Authorities in China said Monday it will take 10 days to clean up the spill, which is estimated at 1,500 tons of crude oil.

Environmentalists say it is too early to determine what impact the spill will have on marine life.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.