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Siphoning of M/T Solar I to take 6 months

October 6, 2006

By Diane Ladrido
The Guardian Iloilo, Oct. 6, 2006

IT would take at least six months to suck out the remaining bunker oil from M/T Solar I, said Iloilo Coast Guard chief Harold Jarder.

Jarder said mobilization of the equipment and vessels alone would take several months because Framo, the company that will be employed for the siphoning operation, is based in Norway.

Jarder said Framo has a good track record of uploading or removing oil from sunken ships.

Latest report by Task Force Solar 1 Oil Spill said the tanker continues to release minimal amount of oil.

Despite the destruction brought about by typhoons Milenyo and Neneng, Jarder said strong winds and rough waves caused by the tropical storms helped disperse the oil.

“The PAGASA (weather bureau) advisory specifically mentioned the strength of the southwest monsoon affecting the area of western Visayas, and the waves are recorded at more than five meters high. So even if the sea is very rough out there, favorable na sa atun because of the natural dispersal process. Fortunately for us, there has been no report of a major oil leak from the source, according to our monitoring team,” Jarder said

Cleanup operations in affected areas are also ongoing.

In Guimaras, the total area already cleared with bunker oil is 129.59 km while the volume of oil debris collected is 2,045.26 metric tons.

In Iloilo, the total area cleaned up is 39.24 km or a 99.10% completion.

The Department of Health-CHD Western Visayas also reported that the number of daily consultations has been steadily declining. In fact, no consultations were done in two hospitals in Guimaras in the last eight days.

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