Fri, May 14, 2010
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Residents await oil in southern USA

2010-05-14 06:58:24 GMT2010-05-14 14:58:24 (Beijing Time)

Oil has washed up on the southern Louisiana beach of Port Fourchon.

It's not known whether the globules are from the oil spill - agents from the Louisiana State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closed off the beach and samples are being tested.

Residents in the southern U.S. Gulf states are bracing for a potential environmental disaster if oil from the huge slick reaches their shores.

In Mississippi, a dead dolphin washed up on Horn Island, fueling speculation about the oil's impact on the region. It was the sixth dolphin to wash ashore in the territory in less than a week.

According to Dr. Moby Solangi, at the Institute for marine mammal studies, dolphins are the marine equivalent of the "canary in the coal mine" concerning the impact the oil spill will have on the Gulf coast.

"The magnitude is indescribable. We know what the affect is of a hurricane or tornado or an earthquake, You can build buildings. But you and I cannot build nature - nature has to take its course. That's the difficult unknown."

Reggie Matthews, a local from Biloxi, Mississippi, is trying not to worry about an impending catastrophe.

"They say they are trying to clean up as much as they can clean up but some people say they are traveling and it is getting worse, just ups and downs. Some people say it is getting better, you don't know what to believe. Just keep fishing. That's what we do. That's exactly what we do."

BP has not been able to stem the flow of oil leaking into the Gulf, but a spokesman said the company will deploy a small containment dome in the "next couple of days," to try and trap the oil.

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