A disastrous spill, likely to involve 100,000 litres of oil, is covering more than 60km of beaches north of Brisbane today. This is five times the amount of oil first reported, according to the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Many beaches from Moreton and Bribie Islands and the Sunshine Coast tourist strip are affected by the sludge, described as two inches thick in places, and smelling of diesel. Many of the affected areas were formerly near to pristine, with much wild life, including dugongs.
The Evironment Protection Authority is calling for volunteers to help with the situation by calling 1300 130372. However, they are warning that people should not approach the toxic polluted area individually.
The full impact of this is only just becoming understood.
A report from SBS World News Australia
The oil leaked from a container ship called the Pacific Adventurer on Wednesday, as it moved into dangerous seas whipped up by Tropical Cyclone Hamish.
The ship's cargo of 31 containers, many filled with the toxic chemical ammonium nitrate fertiliser, was swept overboard piercing the ship's fuel tanks as it fell. The containers themselves have not been found and it is concerning that they may leach nitrogen, creating further huge problems for the environment.
Large seas are spreading the oil further. The area has now been declared a disaster zone, and clean up teams have moved in.
Some of the events leading up to this disaster are described in my post about the effects of Hamish.
This tragedy is occurring 130km north of my home, and pictures I have featured recently of my local beaches are reminiscent of the area now covered in oil.
It is likely that the captain and the owner of the Pacific Adventurer, registered in Hong Kong, will face charges as a result of the accident.
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