The collision of a Japanese chemical tanker and a Pacific International Lines (PIL) containership just outside Hong Kong waters has left beaches closed and claims of damage to fish farms.

Hong Kong authorities say they received no warning a pollution incident was headed their way until it was too late.

Congealed palm oil cargo took two days to reach the former colony’s southern shores but that was almost as quick as the notification from the Guangdong province Marine Safety Administration, Hong Kong authorities have claimed in local press.