Alabama, Missisipi and Fla. declare emergency amid oil spill

May 1, 2010 15:50


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As the Gulf of Mexico oil spill increased in size five times beyond the original estimate of scientists, the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi declared a state of emergency in an effort to contain the environmental and economic damage looming from the the offshore BP oil rig that sunk on April 20.

At least 1.6 million gallons (6 million liters) of oil have spilled so far, according to Coast Guard estimates, as the initial government estimate of 1,000 barrels spilled daily had been rapidly replaced by a 5,000 barrel figure.

The US Navy, National Guard and Air Force have scrambled to assist affected communities as the oil slick neared the Louisiana coast, threatening wildlife as well as the shrimp, crab and lobster industry in the region.

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