DOH to residents near oil spill: Drink water from safe sources, wear industrial mask

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com

ORIENTAL MINDORO, Philippines — The Department of Health on Tuesday advised residents of oil spill-affected areas to wear the appropriate type of mask and get water from safe sources to avoid health problems.

Authorities are rushing to contain the oil spill off the coast of Oriental Mindoro to prevent environmental damage and harm to humans exposed to the oil spill components.

In a briefing, Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire classifying residents based on their locations was one of the agency’s first actions in the issuance of guidance.

Vergeire said that residents who live 100 meters from the affected areas cannot drink water sourced from their communities. They should only drink water supplied by the government.

Those living within 100 meters from affected areas also need to wear industrial mask, instead of surgical masks, Vergeire said.

She also advised senior citizens and people with lung problems living in areas near the oil spill to temporarily evacuate.

DOH is still waiting for the results of tests conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Philippine Coast Guard to determine the chemical make-up of the oil leaked into the sea.

Pola Mayor Jennifer Cruz told TeleRadyo on Monday that at least 14 residents fell ill after slick from the oil spill reached the town’s shore.

MT Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel when it sank in rough seas off Naujan on February 28.

According to the DENR, the sunken MT Princess Empress tanker is thought to be lying at about 1,200 feet or 400 meters below sea level.

A remotely-operated vehicle will be deployed to determine the exact location of the tanker.


Editor's note: The trip to Oriental Mindoro was hosted by Protect VIP Network (represented by Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development). At no stage does the host organization have a say in the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by Philstar.com following editorial guidelines.

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