Oil spill

Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

a large oil slick is threatening marine life and birds along the United Arab Emirates (uae) coastline. The slick was caused by a stricken barge that spilled about 4,000 tonnes of crude oil into the sea. Authorities have temporarily shut down a water desalination plant in Ajman. They have also requested help from uae federal agencies to tackle the pollution threat.

The desalination plant was closed to ensure that the oil slick would not be drawn into the plant through its water intake pipes. The plant that pumps nearly 500,000 gallons (2,270,000 litres) of desalinated water every day, will remain closed until the water is fully decontaminated.

However, the local authorities do not anticipate any problem in water supply as the plant meets only seven per cent of Ajman's needs.

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