Level 1 PECMAR alert for marine contamination remains in place but councils reopen beaches after analyses show normal parameters

Photo: 112 Canarias.

Updated 19 August: All the beaches have now been reopened by the three Ayuntamientos though the Government’s PECMAR alert remains in place until tomorrow morning at the earliest. The councils say that the Government’s Environment Department has analysed the water and determined that the parameters are normal in coastal waters.

Updated 6pm: After this afternoon’s investigations, the assessing committee for the Plan Específico de Contingencias por Contaminación Marina Accidental de Canarias (PECMAR) has announced that at present there is no actual pollution in the sea, with small spots detected earlier already having dispersed. The closed beaches will all the same remain so until tomorrow as a precaution in case the situation changes over coming hours. The PECMAR level 1 emergency alert will also remain in place until further analysis confirms the situation.

Efforts this afternoon have focused on a containment dam in a barranco to control the spill reaching the sea while the Coastguard carried out dispersion work at sea and beaches were closed. The laundry company from whose premises the spill occurred has advised the Canarian Government that the tank responsible for the spill is now contained, having held 30,000 litres of fuel oil.

Original post 18 August: An oil spill on dry land this morning from a business in the Güímar industrial estate has ended up closing four beaches in three municipalities on the east coast of Tenerife today. The Canarian Government has declared a level 1 emergency and activated its protocol for marine contamination in the Candelaria, Güímar and Arafo coastline. Originally it was Candelaria Ayuntamiento which raised the alert, but it did not take long for it to become very clear that a much wider part of the coast was or could be affected given wind and sea directions.

Authorities including the regional Government, Tenerife Cabildo, Coastguard and Cecoes (Centro Coordinador de Emergencias y Seguridad) have been meeting this afternoon to evaluate the situation further and determine the measures that need to be taken. At present the beaches closed are El Socorro in Güímar, La Viuda and Samarines in Candelaria, and the playa de Lima in Arafo. Apart from the ongoing measures required by the emergency protocol the situation will be reviewed in the morning as to the state of the beaches closed “as a precaution”.

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