Thailand’s Mae Ram Phueng beach declared disaster zone following oil spill
The Rayong provincial administration has declared Mae Ram Phueng beach a disaster zone and asked all beach-front traders to suspend business until the completion of the operation to remove crude oil from the shoreline and sea.
Two backhoes have been deployed on Mae Ram Phuengbeach to dig a channel, through which seawater containing the oil can flow into a collection point for disposal.
Meanwhile, the provincial health office has sent a team of medical personnel to the beach to treat anyone living on the coast who develops an allergic reaction to the oil.
Dredging a channel is one of the three methods being used to get rid of oil near the shoreline, according to Pollution Control Department (PCD) chief Attapol Charoenchansa. They are also using absorbent paper and pumps to remove the oil from the surface of the sea.
He said that, so far, about 15,000 litres of crude oil, whichleaked into the sea from the offshore pipeline of Star Petroleum Refining Company in Ma Ta Phut area, have been collected and disposed of, together with another 1,000 litres,which were absorbed by oil absorbent fabric and paper.
The PCD chief said that efforts have been stepped up, to complete the clean-up as quickly as possible, adding that larger slicks are yet to reach the shoreline.
The Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) said today (Saturday) that satellite images show a film of oil is covering about 5.1 square kilometres of sea and thick oil covers about 15 square kilometres, located about 7 kilometres from Samet Island today.
The slicks are also drifting toward Mae Ram Phueng beach, said GISTDA.