NewsOil slick pollutes beach in Gulf of Thailand

Oil slick pollutes beach in Gulf of Thailand

A leak in an underwater pipeline led to an oil slick in the Gulf of Thailand. It is expected to take months to clean up the polluted stretches of coastline.

BANGKOK – An oil slick has hit the coast of Thailand’s popular Rayong province. The famous tropical sandy Mae Ram Phueng Beach around 200 kilometers southeast of Bangkok was then closed to visitors on Saturday, local media reported.

It will take over a month to clean up the polluted stretch of coast, the Thai Navy reportedly said. According to official estimates, around 50,000 liters of crude oil spilled into the sea from a leak in an underwater pipeline belonging to the Star Petroleum Refining Company in the Gulf of Thailand on Tuesday. A day later, the flow of oil was stopped. The oil slick had covered an area of 47 square kilometers before reaching the Rayong coast, local media reported.

The Navy and other aid workers are now trying to clean up the beaches and contain the damage, the Bangkok Post quoted Pollution Control Department director-general Atthapol Charoenchansa as saying. The use of chemical dispersant in the past few days may have reduced the damage.

The consequences are probably less than in the environmental disaster of 2013. At that time, a leak in another pipeline caused an oil spill and polluted beaches in Rayong. It took months to remedy the consequences for fishing and tourism. dpa

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