THE huge oil spill in Rayong showed signs of improvement today (Feb. 1) with no slicks washing up on the beaches, including Ao Prao at Koh Samet, and none also found in the sea near this coastal province,Thai Rath newspaper said.
Today is the seventh day after an undersea pipeline leaked 400,000 litres of crude into the sea near Map Ta Phut on Tuesday Jan. 25 and the authorities are still on 24-hour alert to deal with oil slicks both in terms of manpower and equipment with terms continuing to inspect the beaches.
Red flags are still fluttering along Mae Ram Phueng beach where large amounts of oil had washed up to keep people not involved in the cleanup operation out. All seaside restaurants at this beach have closed down.
With tourists having cancelled their bookings to stay away from the polluted sea and avoid possibly contaminated seafood, the Rayong Restaurant Entrepreneurs Club came out to clarify that the stocks at these restaurants were obtained before the oil spill.
Restaurateurs are now suffering because there is no outlet for their large seafood stocks with this being a second setback hitting them during the current Chinese New Year holidays with the first being during New Year holidays when the spread of the Omicron variant kept tourists away.
They urged the authorities to build up confidence among the people so that they would return to holiday at this coastal city quickly.
An official photographing the improvement in Rayong’s sea today, top, and the clearer waters, below..
Home Page: A Rayong beach restaurant has shut down as tourists are staying away. All photos: Thai Rath