Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06MANILA3478.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA3478 2006-08-18 08:52 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4066
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3478 2300852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180852Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2567
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 6495
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2823
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUSICWP/COMLOGGRUWESTPAC SINGAPORE IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS MANILA 003478

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/EX AND EAP/MTS
STATE PASS EPA
STATE PASS USAID
USDOC FOR 4430/ITA/MAC/ SBERLINGUETTE
USDOC PASS TO USPTO FOR PETER FOWLER
USDOC FOR NOAA/NMMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EWWT TPHY EAID SOCI RP
SUBJECT: LARGEST OIL SPILL IN PHILIPPINE HISTORY-REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE FORTHCOMING

¶1. This is an action request. See paragraph 6.

——–
SUMMARY
——–

¶2. The tanker “Solar I” sank in Guimaras Strait in the Philippines
August 11 and discharged 200,000 liters of its 2.1 million liters of
oil. The spill is moving on-shore and threatening fisheries, marine
reserves, coral reefs, mangrove forests, and beaches in three
provinces. The Philippine government has announced that it will be
requesting assistance from the international community, and
specifically the USG, to contain and mop up the spill and neutralize
the risk of spillage from the remaining oil tanks. Embassy would
like to respond rapidly and favorably to GRP request for assistance
and requests response from PACOM and Department/Interagency at their
earliest convenience. End Summary.

¶3. Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation’s oil tanker, “Solar
I”, was transporting 2.1 million liters of oil for Petron when it
sank in approximately 400 fathoms of water on August 11 in Guimaras
Straits. One of the 10 cargo tanks burst while the vessel was
sinking, discharging 200,000 liters of oil into the surrounding
marine environment. The nine remaining cargo tanks on the sunken
vessel are believed to be intact, but remain a possible threat to
release much greater volumes of oil until they are recovered or
neutralized.

—————–
CURRENT SITUATION
—————–

¶4. Philippine Coast Guard Deputy Commander Alen Torribio told
EconOff on August 16 that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) does not
have adequate capacity to contain the present spill, much less the
potentially much larger quantities that could escape the vessel.
The PCG only has one oil boom of 2,000 feet length to contain the
spill. Torribio called this inadequate and said he needed another
16,400 feet of boom. In addition, the PCG has only two skimmers and
needs at least three more to mop up the oil. The PCG anticipates
that the clean-up will require one year, and calls it the worst oil
spill in Philippine history.

¶5. The spill has traveled more than 19.5 nautical miles and
affected 200 kilometers of Western Negros Island, Eastern Panay
Island, and Guimaras Island coastlines. Torribio said the Coast
Guard has been having a difficult time plotting the movement and
extent of the spill and requested Global Positioning System (GPS)
mapping and tracking support from the USG. The spill occurred at
122 degrees, 26 minutes east longitude and 10 degrees, 14.5 minutes
north latitude.

¶6. ACTION REQUEST: The PCG has indicated that it will shortly make
a specific request through the Philippine Department of Foreign
Affairs for USG assistance. We anticipate that the GRP will ask for
16,400 feet of oil containment boom, three additional skimmers, and
associated materials (absorbent pads, gloves, masks, boots, etc.),
as well as assistance (probably overhead imagery) for mapping and
tracking the spill. Additionally, Embassy would like to offer a
visit by U.S. Coast Guard assessment team, if USG funding can be
identified, discussed in interagency meeting in Washington, D.C. on
August 17. Please advise. August 21 is a local holiday, but
Embassy point of contact EconOff Caron De Mars is available at any
time via Embassy switchboard.

JONES

   

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.