Resorts in a Philippine province known for its exceptional dive spots and beaches are reeling from the massive impact of an unforeseen oil spill off the coastline as tourists cancel their reservations during the peak season.
Authorities are striving to recover a tanker that reportedly submerged off Oriental Mindoro province when it was loaded with 800,000 litres of industrial fuel oil. It suffered engine troubles on 28 February in the rough seas.
The company is saddened because the tourists who booked them for the summer and the upcoming Holy Week have cancelled, informed Marino Enriquez, a resort manager from Pola.
The impact is extensive as there aren’t any visitors reaching to unwind or for a vacation, nobody is renting the cottages due to restrictions on swimming, nobody is checking in since there is a stench, and the sand is covered with oil; I explained the caretaker of the resort, Rocela Lasac.
The volunteers had to bear noxious fumes and use buckets to clean up the beaches blackened by the oil spill, which specialists have reported threatens about 36,000 hectares of coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grass. Limitations have been imposed on swimming and fishing in the impacted area.
Authorities reported that restoring beaches to their original pristine beauty will inevitably take many months while the clean-up is already underway.
Environmentalists were worried about the oil spill’s impact on marine animals as well as on the livelihood of the fishermen.
The marine safeguarded zones where the fish lay eggs, and if those are impaired, the fish reserve in the ocean will be lost, Earth Island’s analyst and campaign manager, Robert Medrano, mentioned.
References: Hindustan Times, Laprensa Latina, Philstar Global
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