Spain has issued the second highest environmental emergency alert level as oil slick reaches the pristine beaches on the southwestern Canary Islands. The alert was issued after analyzing ocean current data from Spain’s Oceanographic Institute. They claim the slick could affect vulnerable land.
The slick was caused when the Russian trawler Oleg Naydenov caught fire in a local port on April 11 and was towed out to sea as a precaution. According to Al Jazeera, regional authorities have been criticized by environmental groups like Greenpeace for their action.
The boat sank on April 14 spilling as much as 1500 tons of a vicious type of fuel oil approximately 14 miles south of the island.
“The emergency level 2 is activated for all the Canary Islands and proactively planned surveillance flights are now surveying the south of Tenerife and La Gomera islands,” Saturday’s statement said. The current could carry the slick to other islands.
According to the government, one beach has been cleared of oil and three other beaches are undergoing cleanup operations near the tourist area of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria. Red Cross spokesman Jose Antonio Rodriguez confirmed the cleanup of Venguera beach on Gran Canaria island in a statement to The Associate Press news agency.
The sourcelink stated an unmanned remote-controlled submarine sent down almost 8,000 feet to survey the wreck of the Russian trawler was inspecting to see if three holes in its hull could be blocked.