Chief Secretary of the THA, Farley Augustine, says the threat level in Tobago could soon be elevated, as efforts continue to contain an oil-like substance leaking from an overturned vessel off the coast of Cove Eco Industrial and Business Park.
Speaking from the site on Thursday, THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine says it is currently at Tier 2.
He says given the extent of the damage and spread, clean -up efforts may go well into the weekend.
The Tobago Emergency Management Authority (TEMA) noted that since the incident, they have received reports indicating the presence of oil deposits along Milford Road close to the bridge. As such they have warned citizens to exercise caution in the area.
Augustine explained that members of the coast guard had initially planned to conduct diving activities today in the area, but given the unsafe conditions of the water, the exercise had to be postponed. He did add however that authorities are now closer to identifying the vessel’s origin and should have confirmation soon.
The Chief Secretary also pointed out that there may be significant damages as a result of the incident as footage has shown extensive reef damage. He says beaches along the Atlantic coast of the island have also been affected by oil-like substance deposits.
TEMA Director Allan Stewart shared that while several stakeholders are working together to clean up the oil spill, the cost of the disaster is still unknown. Infrastructure’s Secretary Assemblyman Trevor James indicated specialized equipment would be needed for the cleanup that is currently not available on the island.