The government has estimated that 40,000 households were affected and a 35,000-hectare area was hit by South Korea's worst oil spill in the waters off Taean, South Chungcheong Province.
According to a report submitted on Tuesday by the Ministry of Land and Maritime Affairs to the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, the government estimates that the oil spill contaminated a 300-km-long stretch of coastline in South Chungcheong Province, and North and South Jeolla provinces, and hit 101 islands, 15 beaches, about 35,000 hectares of fish farms and fishery facilities, and affected about 40,000 households.
The government did not provide in the report an estimate of the value of the damage, as calculating the value would be very difficult because so many variables are involved. Instead, the government focused on highlighting the seriousness of the damage so that the IOPC can pay the maximum compensation to the victims.
About 30,000 households in South Chungcheong Province alone were affected by the oil spill, and South Chungcheong and South Jeolla provinces were declared special disaster areas due to the accident.
In its own report, the IOPC has estimated that damages could total between W352 billion and W424 billion (US$1=W970), well above its compensation cap of W300 billion. The IOPC has reportedly decided to pay the maximum amount of W300 billion to the victims.