Manila [Philippines], March 21: An oil spill in the Philippines has reached the shores of an island in one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world, officials said on Monday. The Princess Empress sank off the coast of Oriental Mindoro province, about 160 kilometres south of Manila, after encountering rough seas on February 28 while transporting 800,000 litres of industrial oil.
The spill has affected almost 1 million hectares of municipal waters, according to Karagatan sea Patrol, a monitoring platform.The waters cover ten coastal towns in Oriental Mindoro province, two in the western province of Palawan and one in Antique province, Oceana added. Coastguard says there were confirmed sightings of the oil spill in two villages in Verde Island, more than 50 kilometres north of Oriental Mindoro. According to Conservation International, Verde Island is an ecologically critical area located at the centre of the Verde Island Passage, which is home to thousands of species. The island has been dubbed the "centre of centre of marine biodiversity" in the world.
Source: Qatar Tribune