Sunken tanker continues to leak oil – official

September 21, 2006

• But says ‘situation under control’

By Joel Guinto

BUNKER fuel continues to leak from the sunken M/T Solar 1 off Guimaras Island at the rate of 120 liters per day, disaster officials said Thursday.

But the leakage is “minimal” and the fresh spill is sprayed with dispersants from three tugboats once it reaches the surface, said Rafael Coscolluela, presidential adviser and coordinator of government’s Ligtas Guimaras (Safe Guimaras).

The leak, about one foot in diameter, comes out of one of the ship’s busted tanks “every few seconds,” Coscolluela said during a meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in Camp Aguinaldo.

“[The fresh oil slick] is immediately treated with dispersants. We would call the situation on site under control,” he said.

Coscolluela could not give an official estimate of how much of the two million liters the tanker was carrying has leaked out. Reports said between 200,000 and 1.3 million liters of fuel spilled into the surrounding waters.

But he said the coastal waters off Guimaras have “immensely improved” and are “capable of sustaining marine life.”

(For the full story, click Still leaking, Sept. 21, 2006.)


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