Trinidad and Tobago hit by mystery ship oil spill
Trinidad and Tobago is contemplating the declaration of a national emergency following a significant oil spill resulting from a ship grounding and overturning earlier this week.
Approximately 15km (nine miles) of Tobago’s southwestern coastline, including some of its pristine beaches, have been impacted by the spill.
Government personnel, along with around 1,000 volunteers, are now actively participating in the cleanup efforts.
Divers are working to contain the leak from the abandoned vessel.
Farley Augustine, Tobago’s chief secretary, indicated on Saturday that the government may categorize the incident as a Level 3 disaster, the most severe designation.
He stated, as reported by the AFP news agency, “All signs point toward us moving in that direction.”
Currently, the spill is classified as a Level 2 incident, implying that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management believes the country has the capacity to manage the situation.
A national emergency is declared when local resources become overwhelmed, necessitating international assistance.
The ship – identified only as The Gulfstream – capsized last Wednesday off the coast of the Cove Eco-Industrial Estate.
No emergency calls were made.
The incident happened just days before Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival celebrations, which are an important source of income for its economy.