Trinidad and Tobago is facing a crisis following a large oil spill from a ship that overturned near the coast. The spill has affected around 15km of Tobago’s south-western coast, leaving beaches covered in oil. The government is considering declaring a national emergency due to the severity of the spill.
The incident has occurred just days before Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival celebrations, which are an important economic source for the country. With the spill affecting pristine beaches, there are concerns about the impact on tourism and the local economy.
Efforts to clean up the spill have been underway, with 1,000 volunteers joining government staff in the cleanup. Divers are working to isolate the leak from the abandoned ship, which has been identified as The Gulfstream. The spill is currently classified as a Level 2 disaster, but there are concerns that it may need to be escalated to a Level 3 disaster, which is the highest designation.
Farley Augustine, the chief secretary of Tobago, has indicated that the government may be moving in the direction of declaring the spill a national emergency. A Level 3 disaster would mean that local resources are overwhelmed and international assistance is needed. This would be a significant step in addressing the spill and its impact on