News / USA

US Scientists: Massive Oil Spill Enters Gulf of Mexico Current

Predicted oil slick trajectory map, 19 May 2010
Predicted oil slick trajectory map, 19 May 2010

U.S. scientists said Wednesday that the oil spill from a massive leak underwater leak in the Gulf of Mexico has entered a current that flows past Florida and several other U.S. states.  Marine experts are concerned the current could enable the oil leak to have a broader impact.

U.S. Government scientists confirmed that a light oil sheen has entered the Loop Current that flows north from the Caribbean Sea and east around the Florida peninsula.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said planes first spotted the sheen on Tuesday.  Scientists say is it uncertain that oil in the Loop Current will reach Florida, adding it would take more than a week to do so.

But NOAA science coordinator Charlie Henry says the danger to the state's environment will be diminished.

"That oil is going to move slowly with the Loop Current," said Charlie Henry. "And we expect most of that to dissipate or degrade before it would come close to threatening the south Florida area."

So far, scientists have found no traces of the oil spill in Florida.  They say tests confirmed that tar balls found on south Florida beaches on Tuesday were not from the BP leak.

University researchers and independent groups also have been tracking the sheen, amid concerns that the Loop Current could transport oil for hundreds of kilometers.  The oil could ruin beaches and marine habitats in several U.S. states and Caribbean nations.

In Havana, U.S. and Cuban officials met to discuss how to respond to the leak that is releasing an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil a day.  The Loop Current flows between Florida and Cuba.

After several failed efforts, the BP oil company is deploying more equipment to the site of the disaster to plug the leak.  The latest attempt involves placing a tube into the well, and pumping in mud and cement to stop the flow of oil.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, who is overseeing the response, says everyone is optimistic that the technique known as "top kill" will be successful.

"We absolutely are holding out hope that top kill works," said Admiral Landry. "Everybody is very anxious to see success with this intervention."

BP says it has some 20,000 people working to stop the leak and clean up the oil that has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.  Teams continue to spray chemical dispersants and burn oil on the water's surface to minimize the impact of the spill.   

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid