Reducing Oil Pollution in Bay of Cienfuegos,Cuba

Havana, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) The contamination of oily waters and hydrocarbons in the bay of Cienfuegos, after the intense rains caused by the subtropical storm Alberto, decreased due to the rapid action of various organizations, experts indicate today.

The clean-up and sanitation, supported by unions, institutions from different provinces and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, succeeded in halting the spread of the spill throughout the cove, said Ivan Figueroa, head of the Supervision Unit in Cienfuegos, subordinated to the delegation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA).

In the work to decontaminate Cienfuegos´s Bay, barriers were used to contain the spill, with manual equipment for the extraction of plants contaminated with hydrocarbons and other advanced technology equipment to collect fuel from the waters.

Figueroa assured the application of products such as Simple Green, approved by CITMA and considered a biodegradable product, helped to reduce the impact, as its action fractionates hydrocarbon particles until they evaporate one part with the sun, while others dissolve in the water, with high effectiveness.

The specialist also indicated the damage to the bay did not reach its 88 square kilometers because the pollution occupied only the northern and central lobe of the cove, but not the southern part where the protected area of the Guanaroca lagoon is located.

Figueroa also explained that in a first tour on May 29th, along with a multiple commission, it was estimated that 60 to 70 percent of the pollution was caused, but the contribution of the flooded rivers helped to clean up the bay.

During a visit to the affected area, specialists sighted dead fish and spotted birds, although the biggest impact is on the aquatic ecosystem, especially on the fauna that lives attached to the rock, where the tide rises and falls, the official told the press.

According to the specialist, assessing environmental damage takes time, because it takes transparency of the bay’s waters to see at depths.

Figueroa also stressed there were two disposal areas located on land, approved by Planificacion Física (physical planning ) and CITMA, where contaminated material is taken from the industrial zone and other points such as the castle of Jagua, Perche, Jucaral, Caleton de Don Bruno and Calicito.

The expert stressed the need to update the response plans to hazards, vulnerabilities and risks, based on these new situations which have occurred in the province.

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