In Focus: Oil Spill Blackens Thai Island Beaches
Last Saturday, July 27, about 13,200 gallons (50,000 liters) of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Thailand, pouring from a leaky pipeline, creating a huge slick miles wide. The oil slick soon began washing ashore on the tourist island of Samet, fouling several popular white sand beaches, and now has spread to nearby smaller islands. Pipeline operator PTT Global Chemical Plc. has apologized and pledges to have the spill cleaned within days, as tourism officials have raised alarms about the sharp drop in tourist dollars. Gathered here are images of the early clean-up work taking place on Thailand’s Samet Island.
SLICK AND TIRED Royal Thai Navy personnel clean up a major oil slick on Ao Phrao beach on the island of Ko Samet. (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP via The Telegraph)
Buddhist monks launch paper lanterns into the sky at a temple in Suphan Buri province during a traditional pilgrimage to pay homage to Lord Buddha and bless Thailand as it enters the new year. (Photo: Sukree Sukplang / Reuters via The Telegraph)
SUNS RISE Chinese lanterns are released at the Yee Peng Sansai Floating Lantern Ceremony, part of the Loy Kratong celebrations in homage to Lord Buddha, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Photo: Paul Brown / Rex Features via The Telegraph)
Vehicles at the Honda car factory in Ayutthaya, central Thailand, are covered in mud as floodwaters recede. More than 600 people have been killed in flooding that has inundated most of the country over the past four months. (Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP via the Telegraph)
GRAY LADY DROWN A man reads a newspaper as he sits in his flooded shop in the Wijit Kolnimit Community of Bangkok. Thailand is experiencing the worst flooding in over 50 years which has affected more than nine million people; at least 600 deaths resulted from the floods, now entering the fourth month. (Photo: Gideon Mendel / Corbis via MSNBC.com)
DROWNTOWN A man in a makeshift raft paddled near a gas station in a flooded area of Bangkok Friday. (Photo: Sukree Sukplang / Reuters via the Wall Street Journal)
FLOOD / PLANE A man maneuvers his boat inside Don Muang airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 15. At least 562 people have been killed in flooding that could leave parts of the country inundated until next year. (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP-Getty via MSNBC.com)
SEEPS WEEK A reporter and videographer worked in floodwaters near Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday. Angry residents briefly blocked a major highway as frustration mounted that parts of the Thai capital remain flooded. (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP-Getty via the Wall Street Journal)
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STILL, WATER People and vehicles on a flooded street in Lat Phrao, Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: News Pictures / Rex Pictures via the Telegraph)
RESIGNED A woman sat in her flooded house in the flooded Min Buri district of Bangkok, Thailand, Monday. (Photo: Rachen Sageamsak / Xinhua via the Wall Street Journal)
MSNBC.com has a stunning array of photos of the flooding that continues to inundate Bangkok, Thailand.
(Photo of a mother and daughter being towed in a plastic tub through a flooded residential area of Bangkok, Thailand on November 7 by Saeed Khan / AFP-Getty via MSNBC.com)
WET NAP A man took a nap at a flooded bus stop in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday. (Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP via the Wall Street Journal)
FISH TALE Residents fish from a sandbag barrier built to protect their neighborhood from floods advancing into central Bangkok October 28, 2011. (Photo: Samir Sagolj / Reuters via MSNBC.com)
Satellite images provided by NASA show the Chao Phraya River and the city of Ayutthaya on July 11, 2011, left, and inundated by flood waters on October 23, 2011. Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century, caused by unusually heavy monsoons, has killed at least 373 people since mid-July and disrupted the lives of nearly 2.5 million, with more than 113,000 in shelters and 720,000 people seeking medical attention. The capital city of Bangkok is partially underwater. (Photo: NASA via Reuters / The New York Post)