Hiiumaa Municipality Mayor Hergo Tasuja is urging volunteers to come help remove mazut pollution that has hit the island's eastern coast.
Tasuja, speaking to ERR after the municipality government's morning meeting, said that pollution has been spotted between Tahkuna and Heltermaa.
"There are sections of the coastline where the spill seems worse – around Tõrvanina Beach and the vicinity of Kärdla. There is less of it between Hausma and Heltermaa, while there have been sightings," Tasuja said.
The municipality mayor said that officials have been joined by representatives of the police, Rescue Board and the Environmental Board. Tasuja asks all locals, friends of Hiiumaa, the Defense League and women's voluntary defense organization Naiskodukaitse to pitch in.
"I hope more than a few people can find the time and will to help out," he said.
Tasuja said that the pollution needs to be picked up in pieces almost. "Heavy fuel oil mostly occurs in what could be described as chunks. It is necessary to use protective equipment, such as gloves and suitable clothing and a bag for the mazut."
"We will start with areas people tend to use more often. The vicinity of (island capital) Kärdla, the area between Hausma and Rannapaargu and the Tõrvanina Beach area. Next, we will move down the coastline to less frequented places," he added.
The municipality mayor said he learned of pollution around noon on Sunday, while its source remains unknown. Because mazut pollution was discovered on the island of Vormsi last week, Tasuja suspects it is coming from the same source.
He could not say how long it could take to clean the entire coastline. It depends on whether all of it has washed up by now or whether the coming days will bring more.
Editor: Marcus Turovski