Oil spill hits La Union, Ilocos Sur coastal areas

By Jun Elias, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 27 2013 07:40 AM | Updated as of Feb 27 2013 03:40 PM

SAN FERNANDO, La Union, Philippines – Authorities here are rushing to clean up an oil spill supposedly from a sunken Myanmar vessel that has reached coastal areas in Ilocos Sur and La Union.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has called on officials in the affected coastal communities to help its personnel in the cleanup to avoid the oil spill from spreading.

Capt. Pablo Gonzales, PCG district commander, said they are looking into the possibility that the oil came from the Myanmar ship that capsized off Bolinao, Pangasinan recently.

The PCG received reports yesterday that the oil spill has reached Tagudin, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, and Santiago towns and Candon City, all in Ilocos Sur.

In La Union, the oil spill was reported in this city and coastal areas in San Juan, Bacnotan, Balaoan, Luna, and Bangar towns.

Based on the PCG’s initial assessment, the oil spill in Ilocos Sur has reached about 100 meters by three kilometers. The oil spill in La Union was still being assessed as of press time.

Colin Curran, a Canadian volunteer in charge of monitoring the Lingsat marine sanctuary in this city, said the oil spill might affect the sea grasses within the protected area and the nesting place of sea turtles in Barangay Dalumpinas Oeste.

Authorities and local officials met at the provincial capitol yesterday to draw up a clearing operation and assess the possible damage to marine resources.