The National Disaster Risk Reducation and Management Center (NDRRMC) on Sunday said the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro now has affected 172,928 individuals nearly a month after the oil tanker submerged in waters off Naukan, Oriental Mindoro.

The sinking of Princess Empress, which carried around 800,000 liters of industrial fuel, caused an oil spill that has affected the livelihoods of fisherfolk and caused harm to marine life in the area. It sank off the waters of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on February 28 and was finally located by authorities on March 21.

According to the NDRRMC's situational report, majority of the affected individuals are from the MIMAROPA region at 138,043, followed by 27,145 from Western Visayas, and 7,740 from Calabarzon.

The oil spill also caused injuries or illnesses among 206 residents, with some experiencing chest pain, dizziness, abdominal pain, fever, coughs and colds, ingestion, as well as inhalation. Over P136.542-million worth of assistance has since been provided to affected communities.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday also reported positive developments in their clean-up efforts from March 23 in Pola, Oriental Mindoro. The agency said traces of oil has since been cleared - with oil no longer visible on water or on boats, no subsurface oil layers in pits dug into the shore, and no oil debris.

The PCG also collected water samples from shorelines of nine barangays in Pola and two in Naujan to measure contamination levels and to assess the condition of the shoreline. A hydrogen sulfide test resulted in a negative, while waters passed the water quality standards set by the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.


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