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Oil Spill spreads in Bay of Bengal

Oil Spill caused by leak in the Indian Oil Corporation Refinery, Nagapatinam has affected the central Tamil Nadu coast to the extent of nearly 20 kilometers posing a serious threat to Marine Life in Bay of Bengal
Scientists tracking the Oil spill reported off the Nagapattinam Coast last week say the floating slick could be by carried by ocean currents and wind and by March 8 extend up to 20 kilometers from the site where the leak was first reported. Coast guards are yet to spell out with a statement on what it was doing to contain the oil spill in the coast.
The scientists say the spill, which reached the shore the same day and was later noticed along the coast, could spread another 2km in two days. Traces of oil may be seen along Nagapattinam beach, Keechankuppam and further south by March 8. There may also be oil particles on the sea away from the coast. As per simulations, they say, the pollutant will spread further south in the coming days due to the direction of the currents. By March 6, it could have affected about 10.91km of the coast.
The local fishermen have announced Rasta rook agitation in a day or two against the refinery authorities for what they called their irresponsible attitude that has led to a major oil spill.
Late in the evening on March 2, crude oil leaked from the 9km long 20inch diameter pipeline from CPCL CBR Crude Storage Tanks at Nagapattinam to Karaikal Port.
Balakrishnan Nair T M, group director, ocean model, applied research and services (OMARS), INCOIS,was quoted by local media reports saying they generated the trajectory forecast following requests from local fishermen and NGOs.
"We do not know the actual quantity of oil spilled. But if it gets blocked by something and gets accumulated in an area, it could affect the marine ecosystem as well as tourism if oil traces are seen on beaches. Such pollutants can result in fish mortality as it could choke their gills. The spilled oil may take a month or two to settle in the sea," he said.
An INCOIS report said the spill could have affected 8.5km shoreline on March 3, 10.76km on March 4, and 10.33km on March 5. By March 7, it would have reached 11.4km and 12km by March 8.
"We are trying to get more updates like the actual quantity of oil spilled to generate forecasts for days after March 8.

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