Authorities in California are investigating the cause of a major oil spill

Partners are working to clean up the weekend, which has covered thousands of liters of crude oil and sent thousands of liters into the ocean.

U.S. officials say a 41-year-old oil pipeline has killed hundreds of wildlife off California’s southern coast, destroying much of the coast.

Over the weekend – the state’s largest oil spill – 570,000 gallons (126,000 gallons) of crude oil was sent to the Pacific Ocean, destroying the coast of Huntington and other coastal communities.

On Monday, white-clad and helmet-clad cleaners worked on beaches and swamps along the east coast of the highway, officials said, adding that the leak could be closed for weeks or even months.

Oil-soaked birds are washed along the shore along with dead fish.

On Sunday, cleaners raced to catch the manure before dispersing it to protected areas. [Ringo HW Chiu/AP Photo]

Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds, from Huntington Beach, about 40 miles[40 km]south of Los Angeles, said:

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said the 34-square-mile (13-square-mile) ocean and coastal areas of the city were “covered with oil.”

Authorities are investigating whether the ship’s anchor hit an oil pipeline on the ocean floor on Monday.

Martin Wilshere, general manager of Ampel Energy, the company that operates the pipeline, said on Monday that hackers had inspected more than 2,438 meters (8,000 feet) of pipeline and focused on “one area of ​​high interest.”

He told a news conference:

U.S. Coast Guard officials say cargo ships entering the Los Angeles and Long Beach twin ports regularly pass through the area.

“We are investigating whether it may be an anchor from the ship, but that is currently under review,” said Coast Guard Lt. Gen. Jenny Shaye.

A government inspector found that the inspectors were unable to control pipeline, platforms, and other infrastructure hazards on the sea floor. [Mike Blake/Reuters]

Federal authorities have stepped up inspections of aging and marine power pipelines. Energy companies have built 64,000 km (40,000 miles) of oil and gas pipelines in federal coastal waters since the 1940s.

In March, the US Office of Public Accountability (GAO), a government regulator, and regulators failed to address hazards on pipelines, platforms, and other infrastructure.

“As pipelines age, they are more vulnerable to theft, mud slides and sea erosion,” GAO said.

Dam Nogami, an official with the Council for the Protection of Natural Resources, told Al Jazeera on Monday that the leak was “absolutely preventable”.

“This is a disaster, I think everyone should be angry,” Nogami said.

“We need to get rid of fossil fuels as soon as possible,” Nogami said. “We need to make sure that temporary protections are stronger.”

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