Company pledges to clean up oil that spilled from Bahamas facility damaged by Hurricane Dorian
BY ALEX SUNDBY
SEPTEMBER 8, 2019 / 1:03 PM / CBS NEWS
An energy company pledged Sunday to clean up oil that spilled from its facility in the Bahamas when Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the island nation. Norwegian-based Equinor said it was unclear how big the spill was at its South Riding Point oil terminal on Grand Bahama.
CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett reported from outside the facility Saturday that domes on some of the structures were completely removed by Dorian. Oil was seen all around the area, and the smell was pungent, Barnett reported.
Equinor said security personnel were at the site identifying potential hazards. A security official told Barnett and his crew Saturday they were free to walk around inside the facility but that they would be doing so at their own risk.
Published on Sep 7, 2019
A leak at an oil facility caused by hurricane Dorian has seeped into the ocean and could end in a 'socioeconomic tragedy'.Hurricane Dorian killed at least 30 people after it struck the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with winds as fast as 185mph. The oil tanks at the Equinor South Riding Point oil facility in High Rock were severely damaged, causing a large spill. Equinor confirmed that on the day of the hurricane there were 294million litres of oil on site.While the company hasn't confirmed whether any of the spillage has seeped into the sea, aerial footage of the ocean suggests it has. The land surrounding the facility, which sits directly on the shoreline, has been drenched in oil and the white tanks have been stained black.Some of the tanks' domes have even been torn off by the hurricane. Sam Teicher, founder of coral growing operation Coral Vita, told Gizmodo: 'I didn’t smell the oil until we got closer to the slick on the highway, but once you were there, it was pretty apparent, which is saying something considering that earlier and later in the day, you could definitely smell death from the hurricane.'So to be distracted from the smell of death by the smell of oil was quite a transition.'Equinor released a statement saying they would be sending a cleanup team over as soon as possible amid concerns of the possibility of a fire as temperatures in the area increase. Grand Bahama's water supply is limited and the country mainly relies on its aquifers (underground layers of water-bearing rock).If the spilt oil sinks far enough into the ground, drinking water will become contaminated with toxic petroleum, Half of the homes in the Bahamas were destroyed or severely damaged, racking up a total of $7billion in insured and uninsured property losses, according to a Thursday estimate from the catastrophe modelers Karen Clark & Co The corpse of a man buried under debris today after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, the Bahamas Once luxurious homes in the town of Marsh Harbour lie completely destroyed after the hurricane tore through the islands Debris from houses is scattered across the landscape and sinks into the water, while a boat has been hurled ashore by the windsThe country relies heavily on its marine life for both food and economy and an oil spill in the sea could spell trouble if coral and fish are poisoned. Teicher added: 'This is not just an ecological tragedy, but, it’s a socioeconomic tragedy as well.'The storm struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities. Up to 70,000 people in the Bahamas are in need of 'life-saving assistance' while Great Abaco is said to be virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up and witnesses say there is a 'smell of death' with corpses floating in the water. A woman comforts a man who cries after discovering