National

Oil spill pollutes Timor
Sea, nears Indonesian waters

An oil spill that followed an explosion at Montara oil field in West Australia is drifting closer to Indonesian waters off Timor Island and Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara, prompting calls for contingency measures to prevent it from spreading further.

Director of West Timor Care Foundation, Ferdi Tanoni, said the oil spill might spread to Indonesian territory within two weeks and had sent home West Timor fishermen operating near Pasir Island.

“The Australian government must take immediate steps to stop the spill from spreading further. I have asked fishermen to bring home samples of the oil spill and dead fish as evidence,” Tanoni said on Tuesday.

“I’m afraid the oil spill will destroy our environment and marine ecosystem as the wind blows from Australia to Indonesian waters.”

Governor Frans Leburaya said Australia and the operator of the oil field should be responsible for any environmental damage caused by the oil spill.

Montara oil field is situated south of Indonesia’s Pasir Island, a popular fishing spot for many East Nusa Tenggara fishermen.

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