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Cleanup Of Vung Tau’s Oil-Covered Beaches Underway

While Vung Tau is an attractive getaway spot for Saigon residents and tourists, oil-covered beaches have long been a sticking point for would-be visitors. The situation has been particularly bad over recent days, as black tides of oil have hit the city’s beaches in what is becoming a common occurrence.

“The sludge has appeared on the beach very often in the past several years, from March-April when the winds change,” Le Tan Cuong of the provincial Environment Protection Agency told Thanh Nien. “The phenomenon causes pollution and damage to tourism,” he added.

The monumental cleanup task is underway with over 1,120 people cleaning the oil-soaked sand, mainly employees of beachside hotels that are likely to lose out on profits due to the polluted beaches.

Crews reportedly collected 30 tons of contaminated sand yesterday morning with the help of volunteers and soldiers.

Authorities are in the process of determining the origin of the slick which is likely associated with the city’s booming offshore petroleum industry.

Beyond threatening tourism, oil-covered beaches can kill sea birds, mammals, shellfish and many other animals.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the country is undertaking any environmental impact studies on the incident.

[Thanh Nein]

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