Large oil spill hits Southern California beaches
Huntington Beach, United States, Oct 3 (EFE).- A large oil spill from a platform in the pacific equivalent to about 3,000 barrels of oil is hitting southern California and threatening the shores of Huntington Beach, one of the most popular and famous coastal areas in the Golden State.
The oil leak began Saturday at the Elly offshore platform, off Huntington Beach and has already thrown some 570,000 liters of oil into the sea, according to authorities, who already speak of this event as one of the worst natural disasters in this area ” in decades.” They have warned of its danger to the place’s flora and fauna.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said the 3,000-barrel estimate is likely to fall short as the company responsible for the spill, Beta Offshore, is believed to have yet to fully stem the leak.
“Unfortunately we are beginning to see fish and birds covered in oil that are reaching our shores,” she said at a press conference.
Authorities Sunday closed Huntington Beach beaches and asked citizens to avoid the coast.
The last day of the Pacific Airshow, a massive event that brings together hundreds of thousands of people in Huntington Beach over the weekend, was also canceled.
Located about 60 kilometers southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Huntington Beach has about 200,000 inhabitants and is one of the largest cities in wealthy Orange County.
With its photogenic oceanfront pier and a long row of back-to-back beaches, this city faithfully reflects the alluring stereotype of Southern California: sun, sea, and laid-back living.
However, Huntington Beach presented Sunday a very different image than usual, with people fighting for every square meter of sand. Today only a few approached this area.
Most were walking, playing volleyball or sunbathing, although some also got into the water. Those who approached the waters of Huntington Beach saw how the leak left small stains and sticky remains of oil that gradually accumulated to form lines running parallel to the sea.
Those worrying black trails are what has reached the ground despite efforts by emergency services to contain the oil before it reaches the most sensitive areas of the coast. EFE