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Tourists check out early or cancel resort stay after thick black oil covers Batam beaches

Oil pollution has been a recurring problem.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 11, 06:43 pm

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For those who are planning to go Batam for a getaway, here’s something you may want to take note of.

Thick film of black oil on beaches

According to a report by The Jakarta Post (JP), some beaches at Batam have been covered with a thick film of black oil since April 9, 2019.

Due to the oil pollution, the colour of the coral in the affected area have also changed.

The resorts affected are Nongsa Point Marina, Nongsa Village and Turi Beach Resort.

Nongsa area is the northern coastal area of Batam, as outlined in red on the map:

Screenshot from Google Map.

The oil film, which is reportedly around 5cm thick, is allegedly due to waste dumping by tanker ships in the Strait of Malacca.

Tourists have shortened their stay, with some even cancelling their bookings.

According to a resort management company spokesperson Nara Dewa:

“Foreign tourists staying in Nongsa want to enjoy the beach or play in the water. (If the beach) is covered with black oil, they cannot enjoy their stay.”

Oil pollution not a new problem

This is not the first time that the area has been polluted by oil.

According to Nara, three similar incidents happened in 2018, and she hopes that the authorities will “recognise this problem because it occurs every year”.

The black oil reportedly takes about two years to dissipate.

Affecting fishermen and Batam residents as well

According to Batam Today, this incident was also said to greatly affect the middle to lower-income Batam residents, especially fishermen.

Over 80 fishermen in the Nongsa area have been unable to head out to the sea for the past few days.

A fisherman called Razali also claimed that this is possibly one of the worst oil spills in recent years.

Top photo collage from Google Map and Jeanette Tan

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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