Tourism Authority of Thailand Fact Sheet on Thailand Oil Spill Situation Update of 1 August 2013

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Satellite image by Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), as of 1 August 2013, 06.09 hrs 

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A significant improvement has taken place, with the size of oil film decreasing from about 9 square kilometers on July 31 to 5 square kilometers.

This is clearly indicated in the “COSMO-SkyMed-2” Satellite image at 0609 hrs, August 1st, 2013. The image shows the area of the oil film is concentrated on the north side of the Samet Island (Ko Samet) and shrinking. There is no impact on nearby islands such as Plateen Island, Kham Island and Kudee Island. In addition, the density of the oil film is thinning considerably as the image shows the water color clearly appearing on the surface.

The rapid deployment of roughly 500 personnel of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, navy personnel and volunteers has facilitated a rapid clean up effort. Only about 10% of the original oil spill remains in Ao Phrao. It is expected to take about 1-2 days to the remove the sludge.

Only Ao Phrao was affected by the oil slick. The rest of the island is normal. Swimming is possible in the waters including at Had Sai Kaew (Crystal Sand Beach), Ao Wong Duean, Ao Phai, Ao Kio and Ao Karang all of which are located on the east of Samet Island which is totally unaffected.

There has been some oil films founded on the northern part of Samet Island; however, these areas are not for beach activities.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Pureesrisak has travelled to Samet Island and will attend the meeting with local tourism operators to follow up the problems and discuss plans to assist the local businesses affected by cancellations. Various tax-cuts and marketing efforts are likely to be implemented. Local commercial banks are also prepared to assist, according to local news reports.

The Tourism and Sports Minister has been quoted as saying that the Cabinet had agreed that PTTGC should compensate those hotels that have lost business due to guest cancellations.

Photographs taken at Koh Samet (Ao Vhai and Had Sai Kaew):