Manila [Philippines], March 11: The Philippines has asked Japan and the United States for help in efforts to contain and clean up an oil spill 10 days after an oil tanker sank.
The Princess Empress sank in rough seas off the island of Mindoro in the central Philippines , carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil, according to AFP. The ship is currently believed to be lying about 400 meters below the surface of the sea, but Philippine authorities say the country does not have the ability to reach the wreck and get the oil out.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on March 10 that Japan has sent its coast guard to Manila to assist with the investigation into the oil spill and to "guide ongoing spill control and removal operations." go out".
PCG spokesman Armando Balilo told AFP that Manila had also requested assistance from the US. But he did not specify how the Philippines wanted help and the US Embassy in Manila did not immediately comment.
Diesel and condensed oil from tankers have polluted the waters and beaches of nine municipalities along the coast of Oriental Mindoro province, which is known for its rich marine life. Earlier, the Philippines Department of Environment said more than 2,500 hectares of coral reefs, mangroves and seaweed could be affected by the oil spill.
Authorities do not know how much diesel and solid oil spilled into the sea. The PCG said on March 10 that it had found oil as far away as the Casian Island, off the north coast of Palawan. That location is about 350 kilometers southwest of where the tanker sank.
The provincial government of Oriental Mindoro earlier this week announced that dozens of people in the locality had fallen ill after oil washed ashore.
Residents and coastguards have been clearing seaweed and other objects covered in oil at beaches affected by the incident. Thousands of fishermen have been ordered to stay ashore until they can safely fish, and swimming has also been banned.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper