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First phase of oil spill cleanup over, says DND’s Cruz

October 13, 2006

By Joel Guinto
INQ7.net, Oct. 13, 2006

THE FIRST phase of the cleanup of areas in Guimaras province affected by the Visayas oil spill was declared finished and disaster officials said they are making preparations to siphon off the remaining bunker fuel from the sunken tanker M/T Solar I.

Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr., concurrent National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) chairman, said officials have begun phase two of the cleanup, which involves crafting an environmental rehabilitation plan.

“The stage one of the cleanup is finished. The environmental rehabilitation plan, and its method of implementation, is next,” he said.

Cruz told a news conference in Camp Aguinaldo that 1.3 kilometers of shoreline have been cleared of sludge.

The rehabilitation plan, to be drafted by the environment and science departments, would “bring back mangroves, sea grass, and coral reefs to where they were [before the oil spill],” Cruz said.

The Solar I sank August 11 in the Guimaras Strait and officials estimate it has leaked out between 200,000 to 1.3 million of the two million liters of bunker fuel it was carrying. An estimated 120 liters continues to leak from the sunken ship everyday.

(For the full story, click First phase.)

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