Thai province declares emergency as oil slick hits beach

Jan 29, 2022, 8:20 AM | Updated: Jan 30, 2022, 7:26 am

BANGKOK (AP) — The governor of a province in eastern Thailand on Saturday declared a state of emergency after an oil slick washed up on a sand beach, shutting down restaurants and shops in a setback for the pandemic-hit tourism industry.

Some 20-50 tons of oil are estimated to have leaked Tuesday night in the Gulf of Thailand from an undersea hose used to load tankers at an offshore mooring point owned by the Star Petroleum Refining Co.

The leak was stopped within hours, the company said, but efforts to keep an oil slick from reaching the Mae Ramphueng beach in Rayong province southeast of Bangkok were unsuccessful, and some oil began spilling onto the sand there on Saturday morning.

A major part of the slick remains at sea and there are concerns it may hit Koh Samet, a popular tourist island that’s just beginning to recover from the coronavirus pandemic slump along with the rest of the country.

Aircraft have been dropping chemicals to disperse the oil and deploying floating booms to trap it so that it can be skimmed from the surface and removed.

Rayong Gov. Channa Iamsaeng on Saturday declared the stricken beach a disaster area and ordered it closed for swimmers and commercial activities.

Some 200 navy personnel and 150 people from Star Petroleum were helping in the cleanup with equipment to absorb and skim the oil, while two backhoes dug a trench to capture the incoming oil.

The beachside area is largely dependent on tourists. It has been suffering economically from the pandemic that has kept visitors away, and the spill will make recovery harder. The local fishing industry was also affected by the pollution.

The Thai chapter of the environmental action group Greenpeace said the spill was the second involving Star Petroleum after an incident in 1997.

It issued a statement demanding that the oil company show clear accountability for the accident, pay for the cleanup and issue a complete report on the economic, social and environmental impacts of the spill.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris smiles as she holds a bilateral meeting with Australia's Prime Mi...
Associated Press

Harris focuses Asia trip on security, adds tour to Korea DMZ

TOKYO (AP) — In meeting after meeting with Asian leaders Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the U.S. commitment to regional security, and the White House disclosed that she would visit the Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas. An official said Harris would tour the border area between South and North Korea on Thursday, at the […]
21 hours ago
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown against...
Associated Press

Lamb’s 1-handed TD catch gives Dallas 23-16 win over Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — CeeDee Lamb made a one-handed touchdown catch with 8:30 to play to cap a go-ahead drive that featured a big fourth-down gamble by Mike McCarthy, and the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 23-16 Monday night. Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 1-yard run to ignite a comeback from a […]
21 hours ago
First grade teacher Suzy Tom leads a class and demonstrates the order of character strokes at the A...
Associated Press

As Cantonese language wanes, efforts grow to preserve it

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three decades ago, finding opportunities to learn Cantonese in San Francisco wasn’t hard. But today in the city that’s drawn Cantonese speakers from South China for over 150 years, there’s fear that political and social upheaval are diminishing a language that is a cultural touchstone. The Chinese government’s push for wider […]
21 hours ago
FILE - A customer waits for service at a Optus phone store in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Oct. 7, ...
Associated Press

Australian police probe purported hacker’s ransom demand

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian police were investigating a report that a purported hacker had already released the stolen personal data of 10,000 Optus customers and was demanding a $1 million ransom in cryptocurrency, the telecommunications company’s chief executive said on Tuesday. The Australian government has blamed lax cybersecurity at the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Foes of Arizona voucher expansion likely fail to make ballot

PHOENIX (AP) — A massive expansion of Arizona’s private school voucher system will likely go into effect after public school advocates failed to gather enough signatures to block the law, a conservative think tank that supports the expansion said Monday. The Goldwater Institute, a conservative and libertarian public policy think tank in Phoenix, said Save […]
21 hours ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew-member observes a...
Associated Press

Patrol spots Chinese, Russian naval ships off Alaska island

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard ship on routine patrol in the Bering Sea came across a guided missile cruiser from China, officials said Monday. But it turned out the cruiser wasn’t alone as it sailed about 86 miles (138 kilometers) north of Alaska’s Kiska Island, on Sept. 19. Two other Chinese naval […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Thai province declares emergency as oil slick hits beach