NO Oil spill from X-Press Pearl, says Dr. Godahewa; NARA to conduct tests

NO Oil spill from X-Press Pearl, says Dr. Godahewa; NARA to conduct tests

NO Oil spill from X-Press Pearl, says Dr. Godahewa; NARA to conduct tests

Reporting by Pavani Hapuarachchi Written by Zulfick Farzan

10 Jun, 2021 | 12:48 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Coast Conservation, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa on Thursday (Jun. 10) denied the claims of an international media outlet regarding the presence of an oil slick in the vicinity of the MV X-PRESS PEARL.

Sky News on Wednesday (Jun. 09) reported that a large oil slick surrounding the damaged container ship in Sri Lanka has been captured in satellite images.

According to the report, the images, taken on Monday (Jun. 07), show the slick is several hundred meters long.

However, State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa denied these claims.

“I went close to the MV X-PRESS PEARL yesterday (Jun. 09) accompanied by the Harbour Master of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the MEPA Chairperson. We observed that a Diesel like minor oil patch was present on the water surface. However, it was NOT an oil spill from the vessel,” State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told News 1st on Thursday (Jun. 10).

Whilst referring to the international news report on the oil slick, the State Minister of Coast Conservation noted, “Thereafter, we informed the Sri Lanka Navy and inquired into the reports about an oil slick.”

The State Minister pointed out that there are FIVE ships anchored surrounding the MV X-PRESS PEARL at present; one ship belongs to Sri Lanka Navy, two ships belong to the Indian Coast Guard, one ship belongs to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, and another ship has arrived for salvage missions.”

Accordingly, all FIVE ships have confirmed that there was NO oil slick visible in the vicinity of the vessel, State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa emphasized.

MEANWHILE…

The National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) confirmed to News 1st on Thursday (Jun. 10), that an oil slick was visible in the vicinity of the MV X-PRESS PEARL and tests are being conducted to determine if the oil is from the vessel.

News 1st inquired with K. Arunanandan, the Chief Scientist at the National Aquatic Resources Agency on the oil slick that was observed surrounding the MV X-PRESS PEARL and he said an oil patch covering an area of 3.5 meters was visible by the 04th of June and it had gradually diluted to 0.35 meters since then.

“We are investigating whether this oil slick is from the fuels used for the ship or an oil slick that appeared after the fire. We have already obtained samples and tests are underway,” K. Arunanandan further noted.

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