Brazilian state declares state of emergency over oil spills

This Oct. 4, 2019 handout photo released by the Aracaju Municipal Press Office, shows rocks stained by an oil spill, on Artistas Beach, in Aracaju, Br...
CORRECTS DATE - In this Oct. 7, 2019 handout photo released by the Aracaju Municipal Press Office, workers remove oil from Viral Beach, in Aracaju, Br...
In this Sept. 25, 2019 photo released by the Sergipe state Government, oil sludge pollutes the coast on Sergipe state, Brazil. Oil sludge started land...
In this Sept. 25, 2019 photo released by the Sergipe state Government, spilt oil lays on the beach on Sergipe state, Brazil. Oil sludge started landin...

This Oct. 4, 2019 handout photo released by the Aracaju Municipal Press Office, shows rocks stained by an oil spill, on Artistas Beach, in Aracaju, Br...

CORRECTS DATE - In this Oct. 7, 2019 handout photo released by the Aracaju Municipal Press Office, workers remove oil from Viral Beach, in Aracaju, Br...

In this Sept. 25, 2019 photo released by the Sergipe state Government, oil sludge pollutes the coast on Sergipe state, Brazil. Oil sludge started land...

In this Sept. 25, 2019 photo released by the Sergipe state Government, spilt oil lays on the beach on Sergipe state, Brazil. Oil sludge started landin...

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia is declaring a state of emergency after several of its beaches were contaminated by oil sludge.

Brazil's environmental agency reported Sunday that some 20 beaches in the state popular with tourists had been polluted by oil leaking from an unknown source since the beginning of September.

The mysterious oil has polluted at least 150 beaches in nine different states.

Brazil's environment minister has said the oil is very likely of Venezuela origin - a claim denied by Caracas - but authorities are still trying to determine the source of the leak.

The main hypothesis is that the oil spilled from a vessel passing near the Brazilian coast.

The Bahia government signed the declaration of the state of emergency on Monday.