Authorities have finally started the bagging operation to seal off the leaks from motor tanker (MT) Princess Empress which sank in the vicinity waters off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Feb. 28.
Oriental Mindoro Gov. Humerlito Dolor confirmed the arrival of the specialized bags from the United Kingdom, and the bagging operation started on Saturday, April 1.
Photos courtesy of Oriental Mindoro Gov. Humerlito Dolo's Facebook page
Bagging operation commences to seal sunken tanker
At a glance
Authorities have finally started the bagging operation to seal off the leaks from motor tanker (MT) Princess Empress which sank in the vicinity waters off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Feb. 28, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
Bagging is a technique where the vessel is covered by specialized bags which catch the leaking industrial fuel oil from the cargoes onboard the MT Princess Empress. It is part of the next operational phase of the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) oil spill management operations.
The NDRRMC said that Oriental Mindoro Gov. Humerlito Dolor confirmed the arrival of the specialized bags from the United Kingdom, and the bagging operation started on Saturday, April 1.
Accordingly, the specialized bags were loaded onboard the Japanese dynamic positioning vessel (DPV) Shin Nichi Maru to have it tested through the help of PCG personnel.
A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or underwater robot was used to cover the MT Princess Empress with the specialized bags. At least 16 more customized bags will arrive in Oriental Mindoro on Monday, April 3, from a plantation in Cavite to sustain the operations.
“We are grateful for all the support from the other countries in addressing this emergency. We hope that along with these international assistance, the integrated response between government agencies and the local government units will enable us to accelerate the effort to contain the leakage and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill,” NDRRMC Executive Director Undersec. Ariel Nepomuceno said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing clean-up operations in the oil spill-affected areas have resulted in the collection of 14,083 liters of oily water mixture and 155 sacks of oil-contaminated materials during the offshore response operations.
For shoreline response, the PCG collected 4,150.5 sacks and 22 drums of waste at 13 affected barangays in Naujan, Bulalacao, and Pola towns in Oriental Mindoro from March 1 to 31.
A total of 36,658 families or 173,468 individuals have also been affected in 163 barangays in Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Antique, and Batangas as of Sunday, April 2.
Moreover, the livelihood of 16,930 farmers and fisherfolks were also affected as the estimated cost of damage to agriculture reached P263,556,100.