Philippines still struggling in wake of oil spill

People in the central Philippines are still grappling with the fallout from last month's oil spill that has sickened more than a hundred residents and chased away tourists.

The spill occurred on February 28 off the coast of Mindoro Island when a Philippine-flagged tanker sank after developing engine trouble. It was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial oil.

The country's top health official says at least 122 people have fallen ill after inhaling toxic fumes. She says the health department has been extending medical assistance to the affected communities.

The tourism industry has also taken a hit. Oil has spilled into a nearby mangrove forest and onto the local beaches, threating popular dive spots. A tourism official told NHK since the spill, the number of tourists has dried up which is distressing as this is the peak season for visitors.

The Philippine government has said the cleanup could continue for up to four months.