Oil spill nears Corsica coast

Published June 13, 2021
The French Navy shows an oil slick, containing heavy hydrocarbons, in the Aleria-Solenzara sector, off the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. The pollution, probably resulting from a degassing, is divided into two slicks over a length of about 19 nautical miles (about 35 kilometres) and is drifting towards the coast, the Prefecture maritime said in a statement.—AFP
The French Navy shows an oil slick, containing heavy hydrocarbons, in the Aleria-Solenzara sector, off the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. The pollution, probably resulting from a degassing, is divided into two slicks over a length of about 19 nautical miles (about 35 kilometres) and is drifting towards the coast, the Prefecture maritime said in a statement.—AFP

SARI SOLENZARA: French officials were racing on Saturday to minimise the environmental impact of an oil spill approaching eastern Corsica, with two navy boats armed with clean-up equipment heading to the Mediterranean island.

“We fear that part of this pollution will reach the Corsican coast today,” maritime official Christine Ribbe said.

Two naval ships, equipped with “anti-pollution material and specialised staff”, were steaming to Corsica from their base in Toulon, southern France.

Some 80 members of the security forces and rescue services are also being drafted in to aid with the clean-up if the oil reaches the coast, local authorities said.

The heavy-grade oil, which appears to have leaked from a ship, was first detected around midday on Friday during a surveillance operation by the local airbase.

By Saturday, officials had detected two large slicks stretching over 19 nautical miles (35 kilometres), one 800 metres offshore, the other 3.5 kilometres.

“Surveillance by plane and helicopter mid-morning Saturday allowed us to locate several scattered slicks, some of which are approaching the coast,” Ribbe said.

The oil is approaching Corsica’s Aleria coastline, a 40-kilometre strip of sandy beaches. Local authorities urged residents to stay away from the beaches on Saturday and banned fishing in the area.

Francis Giudici, mayor of Ghisonaccia, where the beach has been closed, said “I’m very concerned. There’s also a lot of anger.”

“We really don’t need this at the start of the (holiday) season.”

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Breaking the deadlock
09 Dec, 2022

Breaking the deadlock

It is time for PDM and PTI to show flexibility and realise that the future of over 240m people is at stake.
A targeted killing
09 Dec, 2022

A targeted killing

IF there were any doubts about a sinister, transnational plot to kill journalist Arshad Sharif, the 592-page report...
Dog-bite epidemic
09 Dec, 2022

Dog-bite epidemic

AN exploding population of stray canines has fuelled a dog-bite epidemic in Sindh, with the provincial health...
Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...