SEOUL, South Korea: Oil that spilled from a punctured supertanker off the South Korean coast has drifted in the form of tar to a distant island, as tens of thousands of people continued massive clean-up operations Saturday with the help of U.S. specialists.
Lumps of tar were spotted in waters near Yeondo, an island some 75 miles south of the site of South Korea's largest-ever oil spill that released about 66,000 barrels into the ocean on Dec. 7, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Officials said such oil lumps pose much less threat to the environment and are easier to remove than oil in liquid form.
"It's something like asphalt, and the lumps that were found near Yeondo are very small in numbers," said Lee Won-yol, an official at the main Coast Guard office overseeing clean-up operations. "We believe they pose little contamination threat and can be easily removed."