Cordova Oil Spill: A Heartbreaking Tragedy

Last August 16, passenger ship MV Saint Thomas Aquinas of 2Go and Sulpicio Express Siete of Sulpicio Lines collided off the coast of Talisay City.  While the cargo ship only sustained a severe damage, the passenger ship sank a few minutes after the collision. Immediately after the collision and sinking, at least three hundred people were reported missing and more than 60 perished. Dozens were injured.

In the midst of the rescue operations, authorities warned of an equally horrible news. Oil has started to leak from the sunken ship. And due to the habagat, the spill is quickly spreading to the neighboring islands of Mactan and Cordova.

Oil spill in Cordova

But before anything else, here are some Internet photos of the horrible collision. Please be warned, though. Some photos are sensitive and not for the faint of heart.

Sulpicio Express Siete with a badly damaged bow.

The cargo ship and some traces of oil from the sunken passenger ship.

A rescued mother and her baby. According to reports, there were more than 50 children on board the passenger ship.

An oil-coated body was retrieved from the sea.

Several bodies washed up in Cordova days after the collision.

Last Friday, I decided to visit Cordova to see the spill with my own eyes. Here are some of my heartbreaking phone photos.

Barangay Bangbang, Cordova

Poor crabs.

Oil-coated mangroves.

The low tide revealed the gravity of the situation.

Oily mess.

Black mangroves.

Oil completely covering the roots of the mangroves. Mangroves ‘breathe’ through their roots.

Fibers ready to be stuffed to help stop the spill from spreading.

Barangay Day-As

Barangay Day-As is probably the most badly affected barangay. Here is the cleanup activity in the area.

The PNP, Coast Guard, AFP, and Day-As locals working together.

Oil spill reaching the scenic Day-As boardwalk.

Coast guard manually scrubbing the trunk of affected mangroves.

Chemicals and materials needed for the clean-up.

Black and sticky.

The Day-As Heritage and nature trail. Sad.

Locals stuffing sacks with sawdust.

This is so sad.

Policemen using a special type of paper to absorb the oil.

Locals helping out.

Stocking stuffed with cloth and coconut husk.

Soda bottles are used to keep the bags afloat.

The Lantaw Floating Restaurant is Cordova is trying to keep the oil spill out by using these floaters.

Barangay Buagsong

Cordova’s bakasi capital is also affected by the spill.

Swimming is temporarily not allowed in the area.

I really hope that things get better very soon. And I would like to take this chance to thank everyone who helped out.  Thank you very much!

10 thoughts on “Cordova Oil Spill: A Heartbreaking Tragedy

  1. haskang pagka pa-it sa kahimtang 🙁
    Hope and pray nga ma tabang ra ang mga natural habitat nga na basah sa oil spill 🙁
    Salamat sa imong posting Ley.

  2. This is truly tragic. My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. Pity for the barangays who were affected, fishermen who cannot go out to go fishing, dead mangrove critters. It will take years for the mangroves to recover, but clean up will need to be done diligently or the mangroves will perish 🙁 . Thank you to all the volunteers.

  3. karata…………Hey ley, how was the smell? While you were taking these shots, was the smell really that bad? … Thank you so much for the photos, ley. They gave us a good idea of what’s happening….saludo ko nimu ley for taking the time.

  4. Today ferry disaster death toll reaches 91 and caused an oil spill that effected the town of Cordova and now under state of calamity. I’m not going to second guessing how everyone feelings, I am sad that this thing happened,. lets all hope that this disaster will never happen again.
    Many thanks for your hard work taking Pictures and letting us know ..

  5. How distressful! A great destruction to the environment and the livelihood of the town. My heart goes out to everyone affected. So sad to hear this …

  6. Disturbing but revealing photos. My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this awful calamity, and especially for those who lost loved ones. Let’s hope that Cordova’s natural coastline and residents can slowly begin to heal and recover from this awful mishap.
    Thanks to all who are helping out in this effort.

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