Oil spill incident: Singapore expands clean-up effort to more areas, including eastern end of island

SINGAPORE - Authorities here are expanding the clean-up efforts to more areas following a major oil spill on June 14, with some oil leaking from a damaged cargo tank at Pasir Panjang Terminal having spread to the waters off Changi on June 17.

Some 1,500m of booms have been deployed so far to contain the oil spill, with an additional 1,600m to be deployed at several beaches on Sentosa Island and Labrador Nature Reserve by June 18, according to a joint statement by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, National Environment Agency, National Parks Board, national water agency PUB, Sentosa Development Corporation and Singapore Food Agency on June 17.

Booms will be placed off Changi East as a preventive measure.

“Some of the oil has been seen off Changi today,” the joint statement said, adding that oil absorbent booms have been deployed off biodiversity-sensitive areas at Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin, Coney Island Park and Pasir Ris Park as preventive measures.

At the Southern Islands, booms will be installed at selected locations at Cooper Channel to facilitate clean-up of accumulated oil.

While West Coast Park is not affected, oil absorbent booms were also deployed at the park to protect the mangroves at the Marsh Garden, the statement said.

“Over the next few days, additional containment and absorbent booms will be deployed to protect the fish farms at the East Johor Strait and also Chek Jawa Wetlands and Changi Creek,” the statement said.

According to the statement, a Current Buster system, a specialised oil floating containment and recovery device deployed from vessels will be used on June 18 off the Changi Exhibition Centre as a pre-emptive measure.

Each system consists of a boom with a skirt that extends below the water surface to enclose and collect the oil on the water surface.

oil spill incident: singapore expands clean-up effort to more areas, including eastern end of island

Oil captured by a Current Buster system off Labrador Nature Reserve on June 17. PHOTO: MPA

Mr Muhammad Nasry, executive director of the Singapore Youth Voices for Biodiversity, said it is worrying to hear that the oil slick has reached Changi, since the area is where a number of sensitive habitats are located.

Chek Jawa is home to mangrove, mudflat and seagrass habitats. Oil slicks can block light from reaching seagrasses, which require sunshine to photosynthesise. Seagrasses are also known to lose their chlorophyll - the compound in plants that enable them to convert sunshine to nutrition - when exposed to chemical pollutants, he said.

Mr Nasry added: “If oil is deposited onto a sandy shoreline, the oiled-up sand can be scooped up easily. But in mangrove habitats, if the oil goes in, it’s not going to come out easily.”

Remote video URL

[video_shortcode_youtube src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DiYLoE1q_TR0%26rel%3D0&max_width=0&max_height=0&hash=RD56N3yTD1vKYqidFSLtujn20Ooy_yiqJ57w453BGzQ" itemprop="image" content="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DiYLoE1q_TR0%26rel%3D0&max_width=0&max_height=0&hash=RD56N3yTD1vKYqidFSLtujn20Ooy_yiqJ57w453BGzQ" data-src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DiYLoE1q_TR0%26rel%3D0&max_width=0&max_height=0&hash=RD56N3yTD1vKYqidFSLtujn20Ooy_yiqJ57w453BGzQ"]

Mr N. Sivasothi, a senior lecturer at the National University of Singapore, said the movement of oil towards Singapore’s eastern waters was expected, given the current southwest monsoon season where winds are blowing from the south.

“This is still disconcerting. We are certainly hoping that the volume of oil has already been significantly reduced by the clean-up teams who are working hard to remove it.”

Mr Sivasothi added that the Government has practised mitigation protocols for such an eventuality and it is encouraging to hear that these have been activated.

“The early deployment will certainly help protect sensitive biodiversity areas and fish farms in the eastern Johor Strait,” Mr Sivasothi said.

On June 14, Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima hit a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel at Pasir Panjang Terminal. The dredger had suffered a sudden loss of engine and steering control.

The impact created a rupture in one of the oil tanks of Marine Honour, causing oil to leak into the sea.

The air quality at affected areas around Sentosa, East Coast Park and Labrador Nature Reserve is well within “safe levels” so far, according to the statement.

NEA has been conducting daily air quality tests at these areas since June 15 to ensure the safety of public and personnel involved in the clean-up operations.

The agency has also been monitoring ambient levels of volatile organic compounds at various locations in Singapore. No anomalies have been detected, it added.

The public is advised to avoid swimming at Changi Beach, or engage in other water activities there until further notice.

OTHER NEWS

14 minutes ago

Does Your NHL Team Have a True No. 1 Goaltender For the 2024-25 Season?

14 minutes ago

49ers News: 49ers untroubled by Brandon Aiyuk's trade request, says ex-NFL exec

14 minutes ago

Pension Funds Amendment Act signed into law, just 41 days before two-pot implementation

14 minutes ago

‘Two teams of Roy Keanes, but they all have a large weapon’ – UK viewers react to BBC coverage of All-Ireland final

14 minutes ago

Botanists vote to change racist plant names

14 minutes ago

Chiefs QB Chris Oladokun entering training camp: ‘I feel a lot more comfortable’

14 minutes ago

Gatineau MP Steve MacKinnon named labour minister after Seamus O'Regan resignation

14 minutes ago

Kaizer Chiefs striker scores four goals

15 minutes ago

Chelsea Transfer News Today: Lukaku AGREEMENT, Hermansen ADMIRED, Osimhen BLOW

15 minutes ago

Democrat official quietly seethed at Joe for relying on Hunter Biden: ‘Playing this victimhood thing’

15 minutes ago

Video: Jennifer Lopez's mother Guadalupe dons ballgown as she arrives to daughter's 55th birthday bash - but pop star's husband Ben Affleck 'did not attend celebrations' amid split rumors

15 minutes ago

Texas leaders react to Biden dropping out of 2024 Presidential race

15 minutes ago

Terry McLaurin vs. Emmanuel Forbes Key Battle to Watch: Commanders' Training Camp

15 minutes ago

Researchers zero in on the underlying mechanism that causes alloys to crack when exposed to hydrogen-rich environments

15 minutes ago

Joe Biden drops out of the presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris

15 minutes ago

Eagles' Jeffrey Lurie Makes Vote of Confidence for Nick Sirianni

15 minutes ago

Loudoun Legends vs. Lockdown Legends Highlights NFL FLAG Football

15 minutes ago

Biden fundraiser warns of 'catastrophic mistake,' says big-money donations have 'suddenly disappeared'

15 minutes ago

Tour de France concludes, but Wout van Aert remains: "Hopefully, I'll get some peace here"

15 minutes ago

Joe Biden withdraws from US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris

15 minutes ago

By picking JD Vance as running mate, Trump doubles down on trade 'protectionist tendencies': PIMCO

15 minutes ago

John Bolton: Trump Win Would Be "Very Bad News for Ukraine"

15 minutes ago

200-run mark breached, Richa Ghosh climbs new high: Milestones galore in India Women's thumping of UAE at Asia Cup

15 minutes ago

Red Bull should ‘put Sergio Perez out of his misery’, says Ralf Schumacher

15 minutes ago

Shane Lowry finishes sixth as flawless Xander Schauffele wins Open Championship to claim his second major of the year

15 minutes ago

These are the Democrats who have called for Joe Biden to step aside

15 minutes ago

Xander Schauffele wins Open Championship after final-round 65

15 minutes ago

Xander Schauffele races past field to win The Open; earns legendary status with historic round

15 minutes ago

Joe Biden is out. And Democrats have no room for error.

15 minutes ago

Rebel cheers turn to tears as All-Ireland drought extended

15 minutes ago

Liverpool U18s walk off in two matches over alleged racist abuse of player

15 minutes ago

Van der Poel does not hold back after the Tour: "I don't think I can be very satisfied"

15 minutes ago

Leaving Microsoft felt like the "most horrible decision ever," Wiz's founder says

15 minutes ago

Joe Biden drops out of US presidential race 'in best interest of party and country'

18 minutes ago

Design doubles: Red swimsuits

18 minutes ago

Hollywood, Media And Politicians React To Joe Biden Dropping Out Of Presidential Race

18 minutes ago

‘Widow Clicquot’ Bubbly, ‘Thelma’ Passes $8 Million At The Specialty Box Office

18 minutes ago

Joe Biden drops out, endorses Kamala Harris. Here’s what might happen next

18 minutes ago

Who will replace Biden after he stepped down from presidential race?

18 minutes ago

Pogacar turns from Baby Cannibal to Colossus