Jakarta (Antara) – An oil spill from state energy company Pertamina's Offshore North West Java (ONWJ) in Karawang has reached the Thousand Islands since Thursday, July 25.
The regent of Thousand Islands, Husein Murad, said that several islands are affected including Rambut Island, Untung Jawa, and Ayer.
The oil spill, said Husein, takes the form of small black lumps like solid asphalt. "This is not a liquid. These are small lumps that are washed ashore and melt under sunlight," he told Antara on Wednesday, July 31.
Husein said that the oil spill has not had a significant impact on tourism activities or the waters around the Thousand Islands.
In Karawang however, the spill has polluted the waters and is affecting nearby villages–damaging farms and disturbing fishermen activities. There are also concerns that the environmental damages caused will jeopardize residents' health.
The situation has also taken a toll on salt production in the northern coast if Karawang. Salt farms with a total size of roughly 100 hectares in the area have ceased operations since the oil spill incident.