Oil spills blight tourist beaches

Oil spills blight tourist beaches

Tar balls litter a beach in Khanom district of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Thursday. (Photo by Nujaree Raekrun)
Tar balls litter a beach in Khanom district of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Thursday. (Photo by Nujaree Raekrun)

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: Crude-oil wax was found washed ashore and spread across beaches in this southern province on Thursday.

Hat Ban Hua Thanon and Hat Na Dan beaches in Khanom district were covered in the wax, which had melted into the sand under the hot sun.

Theerapong Chuaichoo, Khanom district chief, said the oil-wax had washed ashore with the rising tide at around midnight. Officials are investigating its source. He added the oil-based pollution had also affected tourism, as the beaches are renowned among visitors for their clear white sand.

In neighbouring Sichon district, the carcass of a green sea turtle measuring 70 centimetres in length is being examined by veterinarians after being found on the beach.

Farther down the coast, Hat Phraek Muang beach in Hua Sai district is still smeared with oil patches for several kilometres after a slick washed ashore last month. Discarded fishing equipment is adding to the environmental damage. Despite a month having passed, no source has been found for the oil spill.

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