Emergency declared in Florida and Louisiana


Afp April 30, 2010

MIAMI: The governors of the US state of Florida and Louisiana declared a state of emergency on Friday as a massive oil slick from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico headed for the coast.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called for urgent help to prevent “catastrophic loss” of vital spawning grounds and fishing communities from pollution on a massive scale. In Florida the declaration, which affects the Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, and Gulf counties, will qualify the state to receive federal aid. Jindal also sought the mobilisation of 6,000 National Guard troops to respond to the crisis.

With up to 200,000 gallons of oil a day spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from a ruptured well, the accident may soon rival the Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst oil spill in US history. Strong southeast winds blew the first oily strands directly onto the coastal wetlands of South Pass near the mouth of the Mississippi river late Thursday Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, where oil washed ashore, told a news agency. A massive deployment of Coast Guard and private crews scrambled to contain the oil, fighting choppy seas that made the task more difficult.

Hundreds of miles of coastline were under imminent threat in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.The region is a prime spawning ground for fish and a major stop for migratory birds. “For birds, the timing could not be worse; they are breeding, nesting and especially vulnerable in many of the places where the oil could come ashore,” said Melanie Driscoll of the Audubon Society, a nature conservancy group. Rear Admiral Sally Brice O’Hara of the US Coast Guard said the effort was continuing on several fronts.

“Our first priority is to get it stemmed at the source, but that is ongoing with all of these surface efforts at sea. And now our focus has turned to the shoreline. We’ve 180,000 feet of boom deployed,” she told CNN. The Coast Guard was coordinating vessels including 76 boats and 17 aircraft. The boats include skimmers, tug boats and robotic submarines, which are investigating the underwater damage.

COMMENTS (2)

David JT Dade | 10 years ago | Reply Dear America , my heartfelt sympathy goes out to a mighty nation so caught up in it's own self indulgence and avarice.This awful oil disaster happening in so beautiful part of your nation is a loss not only to the American people but to the world as a whole.I was shocked at what I have been seeing and hearing about this event as it is going to prove to be one of the greatest peacetime calamities if not the greatest of all time as i read it. I come from and was born at the southern tip of Africa and have had the privelege of playing on the pristine white sands of our beaches since my earliest days as a crawling baby and value the divine nature of Gods creation above all things.We here in Cape town have seen the effects of oil spills time and time again when oil tankers have sunk or illegally dumped their foul cargo that is fast killing our planet .It really horrifies me to see the disaster unfolding on the shores of the gulf and i can only grasp in small measure the horror that is to come .For those of you who are about to bear so great a burden of heaviness at watching all you hold dear in the beauty and majesty of your surroundings that you have been so blessed with since your crawling days and the crawling days of your forbears my heart goes out to you with an anguished cry and I share in your sorrow even though I am so far away.This is a disaster for all mankind and a warning of no doubt greater calamity to come. The present model of avarice and greed and the consumption of the earths resources is an absolutely unsustainable model for mankinds survival.There has to be a sea change in the way we all live .How we do it of course is the question .But if we do not we are headed by America and the rest of the industrialised world towards a lot worse than oil spills led by the use of oil which will and is proving to be worse than the black death of of flu that gripped europe at one time. We have to stop using and extracting oil as soon as possible the present model of world consumption thereof is leading us all to an untimely and pathetic end.Just like those poor beautiful birds with fear in their eyes that we will be seeing so many of in the coming weeks and months.Scientists , those endowed with special wisdom ask the Almighty for wisdom in finding a solution to the need for alternative fuel sources so that mankind can survive . The use of this fossil fuel, oil has to stop at some point and must inevitably do so when it runs out so we may as well determine now a different course of action.Imagine if all the oil in the earth was to be used to the last drop how much more damage will be done.We all have to start living more simple lives uncontaminated by the excesses of unnecesary extravagance.OR WE ALL PERISH. So to all those dear Americans that have seen the light and want change and realise that it is long overdue rally and complain but above all make those changes neccesary in your own lives.You can live far more simply than you have been doing . I will be watching sadly the unfolding drama and wish all of those individuals involved in the amelioration of the effects of this oil spill strength in their efforts and comfort from on high when the enormity of the tradgedy strikes home.Also to those whose livelihoods are to be forever compromised i wish them courage to carry on looking after their dear ones.This is not going to be easy for those closest to my heart , the fishermen .Those special days at sea , the freedom of the unpolluted seas and the harvesting of it's abundance will be a thing of the past as the entire ecosystem collapses .That special way of life that has endured for so long and is so much a part of who mankind is .No longer the cry of the seagull in your ear dear fisherman but rather the inland trek to an unknown activity of which you know nothing while your boats lie rotting in the sun with nothing to do and nowhere to go.The seafood restaurants will close and the attendant waiters will have to find new work as the stench of crude oil replaces the delightful aromas of freshly caught fish cooking on the beach barbecue. Those pristine white sands turned black in a moment . No more swimming here .No joyous children shouting above the eternal roar and crashing sound of the sea.A heaven turned into hell by the greed of a few already wealthy men.But that's how it has always been .And sadly enough I cannot change it .Oh how I wish i could.If only for the birds and the crabs and the dolphins and minnows and the dog who wants to play ball and go for his early morning run.And for Gran whose days are running out fast. .She thought that each day was to be like the last .That crisp early morning smell of the sea reminding her of her first crawl here so many years before .That fresh breeze blowing in upon her lined face tugging at her greying hair that used to blow upon her golden locks .Now an acrid sickly smell hastening her demise upon a foul shore of dying and dead birds and other once beautiful creatures.Her heart broken and her eyes filled with tears at the ghastly and sudden unexpected change to what was her earthly heaven.Thoughtless and greedy men dear gran thats all they are .Let them know what they are doing to your heaven . Let them know .Before your heart breaks and you must go.
Luke Nichols | 10 years ago | Reply So I guess there is no more posse comitatis in America any more???
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