Oil spill into Mexico Gulf five times higher than estimated

16:47, April 29, 2010      

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The amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from an oil rig disaster has hit 210,000 gallons a day, five times higher than estimated earlier. (Xinhua/Reuters)

The amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from an oil rig disaster has hit 210,000 gallons a day, five times higher than estimated earlier, the Los Angels Times reports.

The new estimate was concluded after experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. reanalyzed the amount of oil leaking following the British Petroleum rig exploded and sank last week, according to Captain Ron Labrec, spokesman for the Rear Admiral Mary Landry.

Labrec indicated that the overall strategy for combating the spilt oil has not been changed by the larger amount.

"We've always anticipated and planned for a much larger spill," Labrec said.

The SkyTruth, a nonprofit environment group, warned that the aggravating disaster "could soon surpass the sorry benchmark 20 years ago set by the 11 million gallon Exxon Valdez spill."

"We are in a very serious situation…This adds a new dimension for us. We haven't had a well release like this before, " said Landry, the commander of the Coast Guard's 8th District.

Doug Helton, coordinator of incidents operations for the NOAA, noted that strong winds from southeast to northwest will push the spill closer to land and could reach Louisiana 's Mississippi River delta by Friday.

"It's going to happen. It's a question of timing now," Helton said.



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