An environmental disaster threatens the island of borneo because of a huge olive carpet. The oil leaked from a damaged pipeline of the state-owned energy company pertamina on the east coast, according to the indonesian police.
The cause is still under investigation, it said. In total, an area of more than twelve square kilometers is affected off the port city of balikpapan, which belongs to indonesia. The authorities had declared a state of emergency because of the incident. Fires linked to the oil spill have killed at least five people since the weekend.
Five fishermen found dead off the coast of balikpapan. According to the authorities, they died as a result of fires started by workers who set fire to the oil in order to remove it. A barrier and hundreds of aid workers are to prevent further spread in the sea. So far, almost 70 cubic meters of oil have been removed, explained environment minister siti nurbaya bakar. It was asked pertamina to give priority to the cleaning of areas close to residential areas, it continued.
Many people in the area had complained of nausea and vomiting, explained a representative of the environmental organization walhi. The activists demanded that the authorities publish the results of their investigations. In the meantime, oil traces had been discovered as far away as 80 kilometers.
Pertamina, which operates its crude oil refinery in balikpapan bay, had initially denied any responsibility. A dead irawadi dolphin reeled ashore on monday raised concerns about possible environmental damage. According to the authorities, this is currently still under review.
With a flat of more than 750.000 square kilometers, borneo is the third coarsest island in the world. The major part belongs to indonesia. On the island is also the state of brunei. Other parts belong to Malaysia.