Officials Investigate Devastating Oil Spill

Officials Investigate Devastating Oil Spill

( – As the country slowly recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of Southern California are discovering an unexpected side effect of the pandemic. Officials are currently investigating the cause for a ruptured pipeline that dumped roughly 144,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean beginning sometime around Saturday, October 2. As it turns out, the leak is believed to be an indirect result of the worldwide pandemic.

Reports emerged earlier this week indicating the anchor from a cargo ship waiting to dock at a California port may have caused the massive leak. A surge in imports overwhelmed ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, causing scores of ships to anchor off the shoreline while awaiting an opportunity to dock and unload their cargo.

Investigators now believe one of those ship’s anchors may have snagged a section of an underwater pipeline, causing the spill. Reportedly, it moved a 4,000-foot section of pipeline about 105 feet from its original location, resulting in a 13-inch split in the line.

On Tuesday, the Marine Exchange of Southern California stated more than 60 ships remained anchored off California’s southern coast. Paul Blomerus, the executive director of a group promoting responsible marine shipping, told reporters, “The more ships you have at anchor,” the greater the risk you run of having an incident like this occur.

California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to support efforts to respond to the spill. We’ll keep you updated on this breaking story as new information becomes available.

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