Chennai

52 km coastline affected due to oil spill: INCOIS

Students from a marine training institute in the city engage in cleaning the coastline along the Ernavur to Ennore High Road. The collision between the cargo and oil ships took place early last saturday and it has become a mini environmental disaster.  

The oil spill off the Chennai coast has been estimated to have affected 52 kilometres of coastline and was closer to the AMET University on Wednesday night as per the latest information obtained by the oil spill trajectory model run by the INCOIS (Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services) here.

“We are not considering any change in the quantity of the oil spilled due to the ongoing operations in modelling the drift. We are, however, predicting oil traces at various locations. It has to be validated on the ground now as it is difficult to get correct picture from the sky,” explained Balakrishnan Nair, Scientist & Head of the Ocean Science & Information Services Group (ISG), INCOIS.

The Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) spilled into the sea in the early hours of January 28 following the collision between two cargo ships m.v. MT Maple and m.v. MT Dwan at Kamarajar Port and after a request made by the Indian Coast Guard, INCOIS scientists here has pressed into service its trajectory model to predict the drift in ocean currents and has been monitoring ever since.

‘Big spill to be calculated live’

The model developed over four years and pressed into service last year helps in assessing and also predicting the extent of damage to coastlines. This was the first big oil spill it had to calculate live.

“Most HFO has been beached already and we are sharing whatever information we have with the Coast Guard including traces left in the ocean,” said Satheesh C. Shenoi, Director INCOIS.

Scientists have calculated that oil spill could have affected 52 km of coastline near Muttukadu on Tuesday night.

On Monday night it had affected 45 km of coastline near Kavathur with an error of plus or minus three km.

INCOIS scientists had earlier informed that since the precise extent of HFO spilled into the ocean was not clear, the trajectory models were worked for spill of about 20 tonnes to measure the drift. Earlier, it was estimated that 27 km to 29.52 km of coastline was affected depending on the amount of oil spill.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 6:39:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/52-km-coastline-affected-due-to-oil-spill-INCOIS/article17264951.ece

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