The oil tanker Prestige will only spill oil for the next three years
Well we all thought the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was a mess. The Prestige makes the Valdez look like a few drops of oil on the drive way.
The destruction to the local environment cannot really be measured. It will be at least a decade before the area recovers.
The real question is how many of these single hull tankers are still operating?
Wreck to spill oil for 3 years
December 12, 2002
THE sunken Prestige tanker is leaking nearly 125 tonnes of oil a day into the
waters off northwest Spain and could take more than three years to spew all of
its cargo, a scientific group said.
The leaking oil "takes about a day to arrive at the surface" and is escaping through 14 cracks and gashes in the Prestige's single-hulled holding tanks, Mariano Rajoy, Spain's deputy prime minister, said quoting the scientists' estimates.
It should take between five and 39 months for the tanker to stop leaking oil, commission head Emilio Lora-Tamayo said, adding that the cracks and gashes do not seem to be growing larger.
The scientific committee was assembled by Spain to examine observations of the Prestige wreck by a French submersible.
A change to westerly winds yesterday threatened to push oil slicks, both on and below the surface, toward Galicia's ecologically-sensitive beaches.
One slick spotted yesterday on the surface above the wreck measured more than 1000sq km and was estimated to contain 31 tonnes of oil.
The Prestige broke in two in heavy seas and sank on November 19, about 270km
off Spain's northwest coast.
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