Oil has washed up on at least two dozen beaches in the south of France following a collision between two cargo ships near Corsica some two weeks ago, according to local authorities and media reports.

On Friday, officials from the prefecture of Toulon said a total of 26 beaches in nine municipalities had been affected, warning local residents not to touch the oil.

On Sunday, the Var-Matin regional newspaper reported that the Almanarre beach, south of the town of Hyeres, had also been affected and was closed to visitors.

The prefecture had previously reported that the town of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera was affected, along with two other nearby towns.

Clean-up operations continued over the weekend, local media reported. Citing a high-ranking official from the prefecture, news agency AFP reported that a complete elimination of the oil could take months.

French and Italian authorities launched a clean-up operation after the two freight ships collided, but were unable to contain all of the oil.

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