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Stricken ship splits in two off New Zealand coast

Maritime New Zealand via Getty Images

MV Rena is seen in two pieces after overnight bad weather pounded the vessel, on Jan. 9, 2012 in Tauranga, New Zealand. The ship, which struck Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Mt Maunganui on Oct. 5, 2011, split in two over the weekend.

Marty Melville / AFP - Getty Images

A team of oil-spill and wildlife specialists has been mobilised as oil again began flowing from the Rena, after it broke in two in a storm over the weekend.

Marty Melville / AFP - Getty Images

Marty Melville / AFP - Getty Images

A security guard walks on a beach where shipping containers and bags of milk powder, seen here, were washed ashore on Jan. 9, 2012.

The Associated Press reports from WELLINGTON, New Zealand

A light sheen of oil extended about two miles from a wrecked cargo ship that split in two over the weekend, but so far the damage appears small compared to the environmental disaster created when the vessel ran aground in October, New Zealand authorities said Monday.

Waihi Police Sgt. Dave Litton said police closed public access to popular Waihi Beach on Monday morning after four cargo containers and other debris from the vessel washed ashore. He said police received calls about people driving off with some of the bags of milk powder that are strewn along the beach.

Authorities say the milk and other items washed ashore could be health hazards. Read the full story.

See earlier coverage of the Rena disaster on PhotoBlog.