HomeNews20 villages in central Philippines hit by oil spill

20 villages in central Philippines hit by oil spill

At least 20 villages in the central Philippine province of Guimaras have been hit by an oil spill following an explosion on a power barge on July 3.

A report from the provincial government of Guimaras said bunker fuel spilled from the power barge and littered the shores of the towns of Jordan and Buenavista.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that the municipalities and the coastal villages of the province were already alerted about the oil spill.

Teresita Siason, provincial disaster officer, said spill booms have already been deployed and clean-up operations initiated.

Commander Jose Jacinto Jr. of the Philippine Coast Guard said coastline patrols to identify the areas affected by the oil spill were ongoing.

“The oil spill enters our ports depending on the sea current,” said Jacinto. “After we finished our improvised boom, we will try to contain the oil,” he said.

The oil spill was triggered by an explosion from Power Barge 102 docked in the village of Obrero. The explosion tore a one-foot-wide hole in the hull of the power barge.

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The barge, which is owned by AC Energy Corporation, is estimated to be carrying about 200,000 liters of bunker fuel.

The oil spill is one of the biggest since 2006 when 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel spilled on the waters of Guimaras when tanker MT Solar 1 sank.

Governor Samuel Gumarin warned residents of the affected areas on the health hazards brought by the bunker fuel.

“If it’s already on our shorelines, we will handle this carefully,” said the governor.

Gumarin said the province is coordinating with the Office of the Civil Defense and the Philippine Coast Guard for the clean-up operation.

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