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Hurricane Alex threatens oil clean-up

06-30-2010 15:50 BJT

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BP's efforts to plug the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and continue the clean-up goes on around the clock. But, those efforts could be hampered by approaching Hurricane Alex.

Creating huge waves and gale force winds, Alex strengthened to a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday.

The wild weather has turned many people fighting the oil spill into spectators. Oil-scooping ships have been forced to retreat to safe refuge because of the rough seas.

Officials have also had to remove barges that have been blocking oil from reaching sensitive wetlands.

But, containment vessels involved in the BP oil spill response are continuing to work for the time being.

Jesse Alling, US Coast Guard, said, "Right now this is a war and we're on the front doorsteps of that war, and you have got to evolve with the dynamics and the changing evolutions that are happening out there."

It's forecast Hurricane Alex will steer clear of recovery efforts at the site of the blown offshore well, but the storm's outer edges are causing problems. Waves are as high as 12 feet in parts of the Gulf.

Workers are using the time-off to replenish supplies and perform maintenance work.

Wildlife protection officers are continuing to work regardless of the approaching hurricane. In Louisiana, workers released 60 brown pelicans into the wild after treating and cleaning them.

Meanwhile, US Vice-President Joe Biden has visited the Gulf Coast to get a first hand look at cleanup efforts.

Biden says federal emergency responders are closely monitoring hurricane activity and BP oil recovery efforts at the spill site.

The crisis has now dragged on for more than two months with no firm end in sight. The economic and ecological costs to tourism, wildlife, fishing and other industries continue to mount in Mississippi and three other states along the US Gulf coast.

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CCTV.com

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