Weather continues to plague oil cleanup

A 20-meter section of a temporary road built to haul heavy oil extracted from the bow of the Russian tanker Nakhodka off Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, was found Jan. 23 to have washed away.The destruction came one day after about 15 meters of the temporary road crumbled during heavy storms. The road had stretched nearly 80 meters.The MSA and other authorities hope to repair the road as soon as the weather improves. Meanwhile, slicks drifting off Niigata Prefecture were moving north after leaving oil ashore in the central part of the prefecture. It is feared that oil will reach the northern coast of the prefecture as well.With the winter air mass receding somewhat over the Sea of Japan coast, Maritime Safety Agency authorities in Niigata and Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, sent out patrol boats for cleanup operations. However, 35-kph winds whipped up the sea, hampering the effort.There were signs elsewhere that the spill is worsening. For the first time in two days, the 8th Regional Maritime Safety Headquarters said it confirmed heavy oil springing up from where the Nakhodka went down near Oki Island, Shimane Prefecture.