Sri Lanka says oil spill 'contained'

Aug 27, 2012
Tourists and residents enjoy the waters off Mount Lavinia beach on the outskirts of Colombo on Sunday. Sri Lanka's coastguard and volunteers have cleaned up an oil spill from a sunken cargo vessel clearing the way for swimmers and foreign tourists to return to the beaches, officials said.

An oil slick from a sunken cargo vessel has been contained and is no longer a threat to beach resorts popular with foreign tourists, Sri Lankan authorities declared on Sunday.

The rusting ship went down in on Thursday night outside a Colombo harbour and had threatened a 50-kilometre (30-mile) stretch of coastline including resorts at Mount Lavinia and Negombo.

The spill—which was about 10 kilometres (six miles) long—had reached the shores of the capital Colombo.

Sri Lankan Coast Guard personnel clean up an oil slick washed up on the beach at the Wellawatte area of Colombo on Saturday.

"We have contained the remaining oil slick and chemicals are being used to get rid of it," Coast Conservation Department chief Anil Premarathne told AFP, cautioning: "We would remain vigilant for a few days more."

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said volunteers, including security personnel, had cleaned up thin layers of furnace oil which washed ashore in several places on Saturday in and around the capital.

"The is much less than what was initially feared," DMC director Sarath Kumara told AFP. "The worst is over and the leaks from the have stopped."

Foreign holiday makers were seen in the sea at Mount Lavinia and Negombo, just outside the capital, on Sunday. Neither resort had been affected.

The 15,000-tonne Thmothrmopolyseara, a Cyprus-flagged carrier, had been outside the Colombo harbour since 2009 following a dispute over its cargo of steel, local officials said.

The vessel had been detained by Sri Lankan courts following litigation over the cargo valued at over $300 million, according to local media reports.

Explore further: Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Manageable' oil slick reaches Sri Lanka capital

Aug 26, 2012

An oil slick from a rusting cargo vessel that sank in bad weather reached the coast of Sri Lanka's capital on Saturday and threatened a beach resort popular with foreign tourists, officials said.

Sri Lanka braces for oil slick

Aug 24, 2012

Sri Lanka mobilised 500 volunteers on Friday to prepare for an oil slick heading towards its coast after a cargo vessel sank off-shore due to bad weather, a disaster official said.

Oil slick concern after ships collide near Mumbai

Aug 09, 2010

The Indian coastguard was trying on Monday to contain oil from a badly-listing container ship that collided with another vessel near the city of Mumbai, a defence ministry spokesman said.

Oil slick hits N.Z. coast as storm threatens ship

Oct 10, 2011

Oil from a stranded container ship began washing up on the shore of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty Monday, as salvage crews battened down the crippled vessel in the face of a looming storm.

Oil on Nigerian coast after major Shell spill: NGO

Dec 27, 2011

An environmental group said Tuesday that an oil slick had approached Nigeria's coastline after a major Shell spill last week, but the company insisted that its spill had been largely dispersed.

Recommended for you

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

8 hours ago

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

How might climate change affect our food supply?

9 hours ago

It's no easy question to answer, but prudence demands that we try. Thus, Microsoft and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to tackle "food resilience," one of several themes ...

Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area

9 hours ago

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York's Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable ...

User comments : 0