Trinidad and Tobago is in a state of emergency due to an oil spill from a mysterious ship

The oil spill caused by a mysterious ship running aground in Trinidad and Tobago's waters on February 7 spread along about 15 kilometers of coastline, just as the country expects to welcome thousands of tourists in the middle of the Carnival season.

At least 15 kilometers of coastline has been affected, First Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Farley Augustine told reporters, while 1,000 volunteers have been helping since Thursday clean up the spill that is about to be announced. emergency.

The official said: “We will go to the third level, (…) Everything indicates that we are heading in this direction,” referring to the emergency level caused by the advance of the spot that came from inside the boat.

The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) posted photos of volunteers in white suits trying to remove some of the oil that had covered beaches.

The authorities did not determine the origin of the Gulfstream ship, which was flying an unknown flag, and its crew did not make distress calls, and it was not found.

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The island's Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) said there were no signs of life on board the Gulfstream, whose cargo was initially thought to consist of sand and wood.

Augustine added that divers will try to plug the leak on Saturday.

The boat, which capsized off the coast of the Cove Man-made Ecological Park in southern Tobago, was washed ashore by currents.

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Augustine indicated that members of the United Nations have reached out to offer assistance, while noting that they are ready to receive assistance from other countries.

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The government said, “All Coast Guard efforts are currently aimed at containing the oil spill… and it will take some time before we analyze the source of the ship, where it came from, and where it was headed.” source.

Government Minister Stuart Young and Rohan Sinanan, from the main island of Trinidad, traveled to Tobago on Friday to check on the situation.

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“We are continuing to offer our assistance and any assistance we can provide,” Young emphasized.

The Environmental Management Agency identified damage to coral reefs and beaches of the Atlantic coast, on the eve of the Carnival holiday, which is extremely important for this twin island of Trinidad, which lives on tourism.

“The current spill off the coast of Tobago not only threatens the island’s precious marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of many small businesses, but also highlights the massive security vulnerabilities at our borders,” opposition MP Dave Tanko said.

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Tanko said tour operators will face huge losses at a time when these small businesses usually make profits during the peak of Carnival. “This opportunity was cruelly taken away from them,” he lamented.

The traditional children's carnival in Scarborough, Tobago's capital, has been canceled as the oil spill reaches the coast.

Many Tobago resorts and hotels have been affected, such as the state-owned Magdalena Grand Hotel. A cruise ship carrying 3,000 passengers is scheduled to dock in Scarborough on Sunday.

One of the largest oil spill incidents in the country's history occurred on July 19, 1979 after two oil tankers, one carrying 276,000 tons of crude oil and the other carrying 200,000 tons, collided in the Caribbean Sea off the island of Tobago.

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