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UP-MSI: Good weather, accumulated oil a boon to oil spill clean-up

There is now a "window of opportunity" for an easier clean-up of the oil spill in waters off Mindoro with good weather resulting in calmer seas and allowing the formation of larger slicks, experts from the UP Marine Science Institute have said.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the UP-MSI cited satellite data from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on March 21 indicated that the possible oil has accumulated into a 37.84-square-kilometer slick" larger than Las Piñas.

“Weaker winds and calmer seas allow for larger oil slicks to form because of less disturbance from waves,” the researchers said.

They said the accumulated oil and the improved weather "may be a boon to the cleanup efforts."

“Calmer seas and larger slicks should be taken as an opportunity to collect the oil in slicks near the sunken tanker using booms and skimmers and ramp up cleanup efforts to prevent the oil from spreading further,” the experts said.

The oil spill was caused by the sinking of the MT Princess Empress tanker, which sank in waters off Naujan, Occidental Mindoro on Feb. 28. —NB, GMA Integrated News