Aqaba oil environmental damage remains unclear — water expert

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — As authorities continue cleanup efforts of the oil spill at the berth of the Aqaba container terminal from Sunday and investigations into the cause of the spill are underway, water expert Duraid Mahasneh asserted that the accurate impact of the spill could only be determined in the coming weeks to a month. اضافة اعلان

According to Mahasneh, the leakage was from an old ship that came from the island of Palau and spread towards the southern beaches, the marine reserve, and the container terminal.

The leaked oil, he said, is thick and coats the water, meaning it does not sink or go deep into the water. While marine life deeper in the water is safe, corals near shore and fish food will likely suffer from the spill.

Nidal Al-Majali, Commissioner for Tourism and Environment at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), told Jordan News that a comprehensive cleanup plan is underway to treat the spill.

Majali emphasized the importance of protecting marine life, especially corals, explaining that the oil moves quickly with the waves, which is why their priority is “removing pollutants from the water”.

The size of the spill was not large, according to Majali. “However, it (the spill) is harmful and disrupts the general environment, as there are some beaches that need two working days to clean.”

Majali pointed out that ASEZA, in cooperation with the Jordan Maritime Commission and Prince Hamzah Center, began investigating the cause of the spill.

The Director-General of the Aqaba Company for the Management and Operation of Ports, Abdul Majeed Al-Qarala, told Jordan News that the oil leak was due to a technical error in the ship’s engine.

However, despite the spill, work at the port was still ongoing with no impact.

“Things are going on normally,” he said.

The head of the Aqaba Diving Association, Khamash Yassin, told Jordan News that work was adversely impacted for them.

“The substance has a sticky asphalt-like texture which is difficult to remove from the skin and diving equipment.”

Read more Features
Jordan News