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Storm Alex may hinder spill cleanup efforts

06-28-2010 15:16 BJT

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhuanet)-- Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is likely to pose a threat to the slow effort to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, media reported on Sunday.

A supply vessel passes through oil floating near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana on May 31. (Photo Source:
A supply vessel passes through oil floating near the site of the Deepwater Horizon
 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana on May 31. (Photo Source: chinanews.

Meteorologists say Alex, which is pounding the western Caribbean with rain and high winds, is not expected to hit the oil well.

But officials are watching closely anyway, "We all know the weather is unpredictable and we could have a sudden, last-minute change," U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said.

If a storm with gale-force winds, 39 miles per hour or stronger, was expected within five days of reaching the leak site, then BP would have to evacuate the vessels and personnel working to contain the spill, according to Allen, who is coordinating the U.S. oil spill response.

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