Featured image: Bulletin 11: Calmer seas and larger slicks — window of opportunity for oil collection
Weaker winds and calmer seas allow for larger oil slicks to form because of less disturbance from waves. A 37.84 square kilometer oil slick (larger than Las Piñas) was observed in the latest US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report based on a satellite image taken yesterday, March 21, at 10:11AM. Calmer seas and larger slicks should be taken as an opportunity to collect the oil in slicks near the sunken tanker using booms and skimmers and ramp up cleanup efforts to prevent the oil from spreading further.
The slick emanating from the sunken tanker, MT Princess Empress, shows that oil was still leaking out of the sunken tanker as of yesterday, March 21. PAGASA announced the termination of the Amihan or Northeast Monsoon in a statement yesterday as demonstrated by “weakening of northeasterly winds” and a “shift in the wind pattern from northeasterly to easterly”. These easterlies (or winds coming from the east) may blow the slick to the west through the Verde Island Passage (VIP).
Source: Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (3/21/2023) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Satellite and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS) based on LANDSAT9 satellite imagery courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Uncertainties (as stated in the report): The area of feathering could not be definitively defined. False positives were south and east of the sunken vessel location.