, pub-3283090343984743, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Before And After Satellite Images Show Extent Of Oil Spill In Caribbean Sea
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Before And After Satellite Images Show Extent Of Oil Spill In Caribbean Sea

New satellite images have shown the spread of pollutants in the southeast Caribbean Sea, more than a week after the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard was alerted about an overturned vessel and oil spill. The pictures were captured by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission.

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The black and white images show the partially submerged vessel and the oil slick (black) which now extends many miles in the Caribbean Sea to the west of the island.

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"The final image of the animation, captured on 14 February at 23:18 CET (22:18 UTC), shows the oil spill has travelled over 160 km westwards. The spill is moving out of Trinidad and Tobago's marine area and into Grenada's southernmost marine area - which could affect neighbouring Venezuela," ESA said while sharing the images.

As per Reuters, authorities in Grenada, Panama, Aruba and Guyana have been contacted by Trinidad and regional group Caricom for information as part of an investigation about the vessel's origin, intended destination and ownership, and an accompanying tugboat. According to preliminary research, the ship departed Panama bound for Guyana, officials in Trinidad have said.

Guyana's Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said that Trinidad has requested information from Guyana on the ship's destination. "If we have any capacity, then we are willing to share with our neighbors."

The overturned vessel continues to leak fuel, but the situation is now under control with a 40-feet (12 m) perimeter supported by booms around the wreckage, Tobago's Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said. "We are unable to plug the leak and unless we have information on how much fuel is in the barge or what exactly it contains we cannot move forward, except containment and skimming," he added.

Trinidad's national security ministry said on Wednesday that it remains unknown whether any lives were lost in the incident.

According to an assessment of satellite images acquired three days before the event in the Caribbean Sea, two vessels- a tugboat and a barge can be seen. The monitoring service said that the ships were sailing toward St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Chief Secretary Augustine said that first responders and volunteers have been trying to contain the spill and reduce its impact on Tobago's wildlife. However, birds and marine animals have been impacted and rescue and cleaning efforts are ongoing.