From Iceland — 21 Birds Rescued From Oil Spill In Suðureyri

21 Birds Rescued From Oil Spill In Suðureyri

Published March 7, 2022

Photo by
Auður Steinberg/Visir

On Thursday, March 3, an oil spill appeared at the in-ground oil tank located uphill from a swimming pool and a primary school in Suðureyri. Residents of Suðureyri had to step in and rescue dozens of birds affected by the spill, Vísir reports.

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According to Anton Helgason, the health representative of the Westfjords, the leak first came to attention when a number of residents complained about the smell of oil. Because of the heavy snowfall, it took some time to discover the source of the smell.

The Suðureyri district council says that the accident is entirely the responsibility of Orkubús Vestfjarðar, but the tank in question is used to heat the town when there is no electricity from Landsvirkjun.

It is believed that even though the fire brigade is working at the location, the oil has already leaked into the harbour, affecting many eider ducks. The eider ducks are protected, and so Suðureyri residents had to obtain a permit from the police before rescuing them (a few birds died in the meantime).

Auður Steinberg, a resident of Suðureyri, said that the residents caught 21 birds, bathed and dried them. She has also criticized the public bodies that were not involved in rescuing the birds. “Everything has to wait until the of the weekend, but in the meantime, the birds are dying,” she said.

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