100K people affected, 122 sickened in Philippine oil spill
The oil spill from a sunken oil tanker off the coast of the Philippines’ Oriental Mindoro province has affected nearly 100,000 people and sickened 122, provincial governor Humerlito Dolor said.
Manila: The oil spill from a sunken oil tanker off the coast of the Philippines’ Oriental Mindoro province has affected nearly 100,000 people and sickened 122, provincial governor Humerlito Dolor said.
Authorities are still scrambling to contain the spread of the oil leaking from the tanker carrying 800,000 litre of industrial fuel oil that sank on February 28.
Dolor told a local radio on Monday that 122 residents in the province, southwest of the national capital Manila, reported respiratory-related symptoms, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
“Pola town is heavily damaged, with the shoreline of all its coastal villages covered with oil,” Dolor said, adding that the town experienced fish kills, and some seagrasses, corals, and mangroves were damaged.
The coastal Pola town is heavily affected by the spill. Town mayor Jennifer Cruz said many residents have fallen ill, suffering from headaches, stomach pain, dizziness, chest pain, eye irritation, cough and cold, Xinhua news agency reported.
Authorities asked fisherfolks to refrain from fishing hours after news broke out about the sea accident due to water pollution and the smell of the oil that coats the shoreline.
The Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines has warned that the spill threatens to reach other areas of the country which has a high concentration of coastal fishes, corals, crustaceans, mollusks, sea grasses, and mangroves.
Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos has ordered government agencies to work for a speedy oil spill clean-up in about four months.
The oil tanker was travelling from Bataan province in Luzon island to the central Philippines to deliver 800,000 litre of industrial oil when it sank off the coast of the Oriental Mindoro province.