RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao announced on Monday that 5,000 more troops will be dispatched to the nation's northeastern shore to help clean up oil pollution.
Mourao said about 600 tons of crude had been removed from the beaches since early September, and 1,500 troops had already been deployed in various oil spill locations.
The origin of the leak remained unknown, the vice president added.
The crude has washed up on at least 200 beaches in nine Brazilian states, according to recent report of local media. Environmental groups said that contamination has spread over 1,300 miles (2092 km) of coastline.
Under pressure from the public and local courts calling for more actions on the oil spill, the government decided to send more soldiers to help locals clean up the coast.
The oil spill has been the third major environmental disaster to hit Brazil this year, after the collapse of a tailings dam in January and the rampant fires in the Amazon rainforest in the second quarter.