DENR: 12 Oriental Mindoro municipalities affected by oil spill

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 25)— Twelve out of the 14 municipalities in Oriental Mindoro have been affected by the oil spill caused by sunken tanker MT Princess Empress, according to latest data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In its situational report released on Friday, the DENR said the oil slick has reached the following towns and cities: Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Calapan City, Gloria, Magsaysay, Mansalay, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Pola, Roxas, and San Jose.

A state of calamity was earlier declared over areas in the province that were affected by the spill from the tanker that was carrying over 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it capsized in Naujan last Feb. 28.

Aside from Oriental Mindoro, the disaster has also affected areas in Palawan, Antique, and Batangas, the DENR added.

READ: Oil spill from Oriental Mindoro reaches Verde Island in Batangas City

Several countries including the United States, Japan, and South Korea have helped in the Philippines' oil containment efforts.

Meanwhile, marine experts said they have been seeing weaker winds and calmer seas near the source of the spill, which can make oil collection easier.

“[These] allow for larger oil slicks to form because of less disturbance from waves,” the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said in its latest bulletin.

“Calmer seas and larger slicks should be taken as an opportunity to collect the oil in slicks near the sunken tanker using booms and skimmers and ramp up cleanup efforts to prevent the oil from spreading further,” it added.