The sinking of the oil carrier MT Solar I, which has thus far spilled 50,000 gallons of industrial oil into the sea near Guimaras in Philippines is causing health problems to the people in the area. The ship had sunk off the coast on August 11. Health Secretary Franciso Duque confirmed that many people have fallen sick and one man has died as a result of the oil spill.
Skin irritation and respiratory problems are the main complaints from the people so far. Petron Corp. the company denies any responsibility for the spill, but say they would help in cleaning up the coastline. "We know there are health problems but we are addressing them by coordinating medical assistance with the local health office and national health department," Petron chief executive Nicasio Alcantara said.
Four American coast guard experts and one from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency have arrived to help assess the damage and advise on the action to be taken.