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Seawater turns dark near central Vietnam economic zone

Thursday, December 05, 2019, 14:12 GMT+7
Seawater turns dark near central Vietnam economic zone
Dark water and yellow foam at Khe Hai Beach in the central province of Quang Ngai on December 4, 2019. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Dark-color water and yellowish foam have been spotted along a beach near a major economic zone in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Ngai, with local authorities now scrambling to identify the cause.

By Wednesday afternoon, the sea along a two-kilometer section of Khe Hai Beach in Binh Thanh Commune, Binh Son District had turned unusually dark, with yellowish foam washing up with the waves. 

Despite the strange color, no odd odors were detected.

The beach is located near a port cluster as part of the Dung Quoc Economic Zone, which houses several factories owned by companies involved in heavy industry, namely Hoa Phat Steel JSC, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Company, and Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (Vinashin).

Yellow foam washes up with the waves. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Yellow foam washes up with the waves. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre

Local residents have reported that situation has been ongoing for over a week and many say they believe it began with an oil spill.

“I hope authorities deal with this issue quickly because both locals and visitors no longer feel safe coming to the beach,” said Oanh, a local resident.

The affected beach is located near the Dung Quoc Economic Zone. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre 

The affected beach is located near the Dung Quoc Economic Zone. Photo: Tran Mai / Tuoi Tre 

A representative from the office of natural resources and environment in Binh Son District confirmed on Wednesday that the agency had collected samples of the sea water.

Initial information indicated that the water was not affected by oil.

The samples will be submitted to the provincial environmental department for further evaluation.

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