A six-person United States Army team arrived in Palau on Wednesday, August 12, to conduct assessments for the removal of the Asia Perdana, an abandoned barge which is sitting on top of Angaur’s reef. The military team will also inspect the Angaur Airfield to determine ways to improve it.
The team is currently undergoing mandatory seven-day quarantine after testing negative for COVID-19 prior to arrival. Providing that the team tests negative again at the end of these seven days, they will be free to begin work while practicing social distancing.
The team was brought in as a government response to a special request from the Angaur State Government, which seeks to address the environmental problems caused by the Asia Perdana, which has been grounded off of Angaur’s coast for a year.
The rusted barge, which first drifted onto Angaur’s shore in August 2019, is expected to have originated from Indonesia. However, the owners have yet to claim it.
Governor of Angaur Kennosuke Suzuky stated that the barge remains a hazard to the environment, and is causing significant damage to Angaur’s reef. Right now, the giant vessel is sitting on top of the reef, and any attempt to move it poses the threat of causing further damage. Speculation has been made that the barge may need to be disassembled before it is moved in order to keep the marine environment intact.
The US Army team will address measures which can be taken to safely remove the vessel, while preserving the reef. They will also examine the Airstrip, which runs along much of Angaur’s eastern coast.
Angaur has a long history with the US Military, once serving as a US Coastguard base.

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