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In photos: before and after the Prestige catastrophe in Galicia

Fifteen years after the oil spill, EL PAÍS visits seven locations affected by the largest environmental disaster in recent Spanish history

  • O Coído Beach near the town of Muxía on January 18, 2003. More than a hundred volunteers worked to clean the fuel spilled by the Prestige tanker. Now, 15 years later, the area is completely clean.
    1O Coído Beach near the town of Muxía on January 18, 2003. More than a hundred volunteers worked to clean the fuel spilled by the Prestige tanker. Now, 15 years later, the area is completely clean.
  • The Muxía promenade affected by a the oil spill on January 22, 2003, two-and-a-half months after the accident.
    2The Muxía promenade affected by a the oil spill on January 22, 2003, two-and-a-half months after the accident.
  • Cape Touriñán, halfway between Muxía and Fisterra, on December 18, 2002. A group of volunteers work at removing the soil from the coast. Today, the same area is completely clear of traces of oil.
    3Cape Touriñán, halfway between Muxía and Fisterra, on December 18, 2002. A group of volunteers work at removing the soil from the coast. Today, the same area is completely clear of traces of oil.
  • Nemiña Beach in Laxe was also affected by by the Prestige disaster. On December 1, 2002, a volunteer stained with oil climbs an embankment holding two shovels. Today, people walk along the pristine sands.
    4Nemiña Beach in Laxe was also affected by by the Prestige disaster. On December 1, 2002, a volunteer stained with oil climbs an embankment holding two shovels. Today, people walk along the pristine sands.
  • State of the Mar de Fora Beach, in the town of Fisterra. Several volunteers walk along the beach looking for fuel residue next to a excavator. Now, the same area is free of contamination.
    5State of the Mar de Fora Beach, in the town of Fisterra. Several volunteers walk along the beach looking for fuel residue next to a excavator. Now, the same area is free of contamination.
  • In the image on the left, a participant tasked with cleaning the pollution from the Prestige oil tanker takes a break on O Coído Beach, on November 30, 2002. Today, a resident of Muxía poses in the same place.
    6In the image on the left, a participant tasked with cleaning the pollution from the Prestige oil tanker takes a break on O Coído Beach, on November 30, 2002. Today, a resident of Muxía poses in the same place.
  • On the left, a group of volunteers from the Alcalá de Henares paratrooper brigade are busy cleaning up Cape Touriñán, outside of Muxía on December 27, 2002. Today, the same beach is completely clean.
    7On the left, a group of volunteers from the Alcalá de Henares paratrooper brigade are busy cleaning up Cape Touriñán, outside of Muxía on December 27, 2002. Today, the same beach is completely clean.