Singapore Beaches Shut Down After Major Oil Spill; Cleanup Efforts Intensify

The closure comes after oil slicks were spotted on St John's and Lazarus islands.
Singapore Beaches Shut Down After Major Oil Spill; Cleanup Efforts Intensify
Singapore Beaches Shut Down After Major Oil Spill; Cleanup Efforts Intensify

Authorities in Singapore have closed beaches on St John's, Lazarus, and Kusu islands indefinitely following an oil spill that occurred on Friday and subsequently affected these areas.

The closure comes after oil slicks were spotted on St John's and Lazarus islands. NParks officials, alongside volunteers from Friends of Marine Park, assessed the spill's impact over the weekend.

Additionally, sections B to H of East Coast Park, as well as parts of Labrador Nature Reserve including the jetty and rocky shore, have been closed since Saturday due to the spill. However, Sentosa's beaches remain accessible, although swimming and sea activities are restricted at Tanjong, Palawan, and Siloso beaches.

As of Sunday afternoon, no oil slicks were observed within Sisters' Islands Marine Park, but sheens were visible in the surrounding waters. Authorities from the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), National Environment Agency (NEA), National Parks Board (NParks), and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) issued a joint statement providing updates on the cleanup efforts.

The oil spill occurred when the dredger Vox Maxima collided with the stationary bunker vessel Marine Honour at Pasir Panjang Terminal. This collision resulted in the release of low-sulphur fuel oil into the sea from the vessel's cargo tanks. MPA has deployed patrol craft to spray dispersants and mobilized oil skimmers to mitigate the spill's impact.

Efforts are ongoing to contain and clean up the spill, with over 1,500 meters of containment booms already deployed at various affected locations. More booms are scheduled for deployment to prevent further contamination of shorelines. Authorities have advised the public to avoid affected beaches during the cleanup operation.

Volunteers have expressed interest in assisting with cleanup efforts, although their participation is contingent upon safety considerations and coordination with official cleanup operations. Authorities continue to monitor the situation closely and are committed to minimizing environmental damage and ensuring public safety.

Singapore Beaches Shut Down After Major Oil Spill; Cleanup Efforts Intensify
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