Quantcast
Latest Stories

Oil slick spreading to Cebu villages

By ,

Oil leaking from the MV St. Thomas Aquinas, which sank after colliding with a cargo ship off Talisay City in Cebu, reaches the shores of Cordova town 5 kilometers away. PHOTO FROM OFFICE OF CEBU REP. LUIGI QUISUMBING

CEBU CITY—Local officials have raised concerns over the fuel leak from the sunken MV St. Thomas of Aquinas, as oil spread to coastal villages, fishing grounds and mangroves more than five kilometers from the site of Friday’s accident.

Among the areas affected were Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town on Mactan island and Talisay City in Cebu, which all host popular beach resorts.

The St. Thomas of Aquinas of 2GO Travel was carrying 20 tons of diesel oil and 120 tons of bunker oil when it sank on Friday night in the vicinity of Lawis Ledge, Talisay City, after colliding with the cargo vessel MV Sulpicio Express Siete.

The authorities were focused Sunday on trying to find the missing passengers of the ferry, which is about 30 meters under water, but the leaking oil added a new front to the disaster response.

Eleven of the 13 barangays (villages) of Cordova town have been affected by the oil slick, covering about three hectares and endangering the livelihood of about 5,000 fishermen in the coastal municipality.

According to Ensign Jaypee Abuan, information officer of Naval Forces Central, the divers saw thick black oil coming from the sunken vessel on Sunday morning.

The oil, Abuan said, floated to the surface and mixed with the seawater, turning milky brown in color “similar to three-in-one coffee.” The water also smelled like iron rust.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy and members of the Marine Watchers inspected the affected areas Sunday morning and saw the damage to fishing, the town’s primary means of livelihood. The mayor said he was afraid the oil slick would severely affect the town’s number one seafood delicacy, saltwater eel, locally known as “bakasi.”

Barangay Gabi, where a fish kill was reported, was most affected.

Sitoy said the fishermen told him they went home with their fish, shell and other sea produce coated in oil.

“The fishermen also complained that their pump boats were covered with oil. They cannot eat or sell their catch. We will go hungry because of this,” said Sitoy.

Cordova is a fishing community fronting Talisay City on the Cebu mainland.

Sitoy said the oil slick should have been contained had the sunken ship carried a containment boom that would float to dissolve the oil in case of a sea mishap.

He said they had tapped the services of Greener Products and General Services, a private company, to help them clear Cordova’s waters of the oil slick.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Paz Radaza was prompted to convene the crisis management committee and meet with the different executives of the resorts.

“We have given them tips on how to address a possible oil sheen on their respective properties. I also asked them to do their share of protecting their properties. We are also conducting oil sweeping operations in some areas,” he said.

Radaza said they had deployed two kilometers of an improvised spill boom made of recycled plastic materials that would be distributed to the different stakeholders who would do coastal cleanup.

Cebu Coast Guard station commander Weniel Azcuna said they had yet to conduct an aerial inspection to check the extent of the damage caused by the oil spill.

“It has affected a lot of shorelines here in Cebu and [the neighboring island of] Mactan,” Azcuna said.

He said there were about 120,000 liters of bunker fuel, and divers had been unable to reach the source of the leak.

“You can see it coming out of the sunken vessel. It is bunker fuel and it is black,” Azcuna told Agence France-Presse.

Commodore William Melad of the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas said they planned to place oil spill booms around the sunken ship if the sea conditions would allow it.

He said the divers had been tasked to plug the leak from the vessel to prevent more oil from coming out.

They had already sprayed chemical dispersant around the area to prevent the oil slick from spreading, he added.

2GO also engaged the services of Malayan Towage, an expert in oil spills.—With reports from Jhunnex Napallacan and Carmel Matus, Inquirer Visayas; AFP

 

RELATED STORY

Oil spill reaches Mactan shoreline


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cebu , Environmental Issues , fuel leak , Maritime accident , MV St. Thomas Aquinas , MV Sulpicio Express Siete , Oil slick




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • 57-nation group plays key Ukraine monitoring role
  • French President Hollande’s top aide resigns
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement