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Singapore oil spill ‘largely cleaned now’ after ‘good progress’ made at Sentosa’s beaches

“Good progress” had been made with oil spill clean-up efforts on Sentosa’s beaches, the resort island said on Sunday.

An oil spill occurred on June 14 after a Netherlands-flagged dredger hit a stationary bunker vessel, causing oil from the latter’s damaged cargo tank to spill into the water.

Following the incident, oil washed up along the coast of several beaches in Singapore, including those on Sentosa island and in East Coast Park.

More than 140,000kg of oil-soaked sand has been removed from the Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beaches since June 15, Sentosa said in a post on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.

The Siloso Beach shoreline is “largely cleaned now”, it added.

A worker operates a vacuum system during the clean-up of an oil slick at Tanjong Beach in Sentosa, Singapore on June 18. Photo: Reuters

In an update on June 20, Singapore’s authorities said that a “large majority” of oil deposits on the beach at East Coast Park had been removed and the beaches at Tanah Merah were largely cleaned up.

They also said that the beaches on three Singapore islands – St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu – as well as a “large majority” of Sentosa’s Siloso beach had been cleared of oily sand.

Since Friday, workers on Sentosa have started clearing oil on rock bunds and breakwaters, said the resort island on Sunday, adding that it was a “challenging and time-consuming task”.

“These areas are harder to access than the shoreline, with uneven surfaces and oil slipping into boulder crevices,” it said.

Sentosa said that it is working with experts using specialised cleaning methods “to thoroughly flush out the oil and clear it from the lagoon”.

A view of the oil sheen on the waters, outside Sentosa, Singapore on June. Photo: Reuters

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said on June 20 that clearing the oil from the rock bunds and breakwaters would be a “complex process”.

“The rock bunds are not as accessible as beach shorelines and their surfaces are uneven. Oil that has slipped into the boulder crevices also needs to be thoroughly flushed out, and oil within the lagoon needs to be removed,” she had said.

Visitors to beachfront dining spots and attractions can still enjoy access to Sentosa’s beaches, the resort island said on Sunday.

CNA has contacted Sentosa for more information.

This story was first published by CNA

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