A U.S. National Park Service ranger
places a sign indicating the closure of a roadway leading to the base of
the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California Nov. 8, 2007.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in
the San Francisco Bay on Friday, as oil spilled into San Frnacisco Bay was
spreading around the area. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the San Francisco Bay on
Friday, as oil spilled into San Frnacisco Bay was spreading around the area.
"I have signed an emergency proclamation, so all the
state's resources can be coordinated to address this oil spill," Schwarzenegger
The governor also directed a state office to tap into
a state-maintained, industry-supported trust fund so as to ensure that all
possible resources are being utilized to expedite the clean-up process.
"I have also directed my Office of Spill Prevention
and Response to work with the ship owner and federal and local authorities to
bring in whatever resources are needed to clean this up immediately." he said.
Schwarzenegger on Friday visited the polluted area
where the oil spill from a container ship continued to spread, with concerns
lingering over the U.S. Coast Guard's slow response.
The cargo ship bumped into the San Francisco-Oakland
Bay Bridgeon Wednesday morning due to a dense fog, leaking about 58,000 gallons
of bunker fuel, thick and oily, and difficult to be cleaned up.
Coast Guard officers initially said about 140 gallons
of the viscous fuel had oozed out, but they had not updated figures to local
officials and the public for more than 12 hours as the spill was failed to
Outraged by the delay, San Francisco Mayor Gavin
Newsom threatened a legal action.
An emergency crew places a protective
boom around the sand below the Golden Gate Bridge at Crissy Field in San
Francisco, California Nov. 8, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
"The spill continues to create conditions of extreme
peril to the safety of persons and property in the area ... and continues to
threaten marine life in the area, including marine mammals, birds and fish
populations," Schwarzenegger said.
Skimmers, with a belt made from oil-absorbing
materials and mechanized oil recovery systems have been deployed within the bay
and outside the Golden Gate Bridge to tackle the spilled oil.
Flyovers are being conducted to evaluate the movement
of the spilled oil and to assist in directing oil spill response vessels.
Scores of wildlife experts and volunteers are combing
the shorelines for oil-blackened birds.
Wildlife authorities said the number of birds caught
in the sticky oil has continued to climb, with 19 dead and 73 taken for
treatment, adding that the numbers are likely to grow into the hundreds over the
Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the
shipping accident continued as new details, pointing to a veteran harbor captain
who was piloting the vessel, were found.
The captain, John Cota, 59, has been a master mariner
for more than a quarter century. But since the early 1990s, he has been
investigated for four separate incidents, and last year was reprimanded for
running a ship aground, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Coast Guard investigators said the results of the
alcohol test on Cota and the crew of the ship were negative. The results of the
drug test on them were not yet available.
Although the oil slick remains largely inside the
bay, tidal action and winds have spread the spill outside the Golden Gate and up
the Marin County coastline, as far as Muir Beach, Los Angeles Times said.
Oil spill threatens San Francisco Bay,
BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Oil seeping from a cargo
ship that ran into a tower supporting the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has
spread throughout the bay and is threatening a scenic stretch of the California
coastline, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.
A hazy oil slick surrounded Alcatraz Island, and
the plume extended well north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge. The heavy
fuel has closed at least eight beaches. About a half-dozen birds were spotted
alive and coated in oil, which has been washing up as far as 40 miles north of
San Francisco. Full story