Indonesia

Think twice if you’re planing to visit Batam; severe oil spill covers the beaches

Turn back while you can.

Photo: Fadli/Jakarta Post and Washington Post (for illustrative purposes only)

The bustling Island of Batam is a favourite destination for many Singaporeans. After all, it’s just 50-minutes away by ferry.

But recent reports of oil pollution being found on its beaches have alarmed tourists causing many to check out early from their resorts.

Tourists have cancelled their stay

Visitors found it hard to enjoy their vacation with globs of black oil forming a slick, black film over vast areas of the beach since Tuesday (9 Apr).

How the beaches of Batam would look like otherwise. Photo: Muterjagad

However, this is not the first time an oil spill has affected the island. It has reportedly occurred three times in 2018 alone. This time tanker ships are to blame for allegedly dumping waste into the sea, as the Jakarta Post reports.

Environment severely affected

While it may be a minor inconvenience for tourists, more troublingly, the wildlife and livelihoods of locals are at stake.

Reports indicate that the coral of the surrounding reefs has changed colour. Local fishermen are also forced to stop fishing whenever an oil spill occurs because there would be no fish in the area.

While may oil spill clear off on its own slowly and gradually, locals want the government to take the necessary action to ensure oil spills don’t happen again in the future.

Maybe take a day trip to the newly opened Jewel Changi Airport instead?

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