The red flag has been raised on three beaches in the municipality of Carreño in northeast Spain after an oil leakage contaminated the waters on Tuesday 26th June 2012. The red flag prohibits tourists and locals from swimming in the sea until further notice.
Carreño is a popular tourist destination, the main attraction being its golden sandy beaches and green pastoral environment. The affected beaches of Peña María, Xibares and Carranques, which are close to the large touristic city Gijón, are particularly accessible to British holiday-makers thanks to airlines connecting from the UK to Asturias and Santander airports nearby. However, Brits holidaying around these beaches will have to stay clear of the shoreline until the oil can be extracted. An end-date for the clear-up has not been announced.
The leakage arose after the bursting of a pipe at a thermal power station close by. Up to now, no estimate has been released as to the volume of oil leaked. However, local police has announced that the scale is significant, and there are concerns the spillage will spread northwards polluting other beaches such as Güelgues and Candás.This comes despite the fact the Director General for Justice and the Interior, Jose Luis Villaverde, is acting with other officials in a contingency plan to minimise the impact of the spillage.
Although just three beaches are marked by the red flag at present, there are nine that run along the affected shoreline and some have small ports for recreational boats. Tourists expecting to bathe or sail in these waters should therefore remain vigilant of updates, and avoid beaches where the red flag is flying.
Enquiries can be made to the Spanish national tourist office in London by calling 020 7486 8077 or emailing email@example.com
The editorial team.