From: Associated Press
Published February 1, 2007 12:00 AM

Oil Spill Hits Vietnam's Central Coast, Blackens Resort Beaches

HANOI -- An oil spill from an unidentified source has hit Vietnam's central coast, blackening popular resort beaches as thousands of local people help with the cleanup, officials said Thursday.

Authorities are investigating the source of the spill that reached the coast Tuesday night in Quang Nam province, said Nguyen Ngoc Dung, director of the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department.

"Oil is everywhere at sea," he said. "In some areas it's as far as 20 kilometers (12 miles)."

The spill has affected beaches along the coast in the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO recognized site, Dung said.

Tourists were kept out of the sea while employees at the Palm Garden Resort in Hoi An worked to clean up blobs of thick oil that left a trail of dead fish, said Huynh The Nhien, a hotel manager. Thousands of local people were mobilized to help with the cleanup elsewhere.

The spill has also affected some beaches in neighboring Danang City, said Nguyen Dieu, director of the city's environmental agency.

Source: Associated Press

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