The United States Coast Guard has warned that the giant oil slick off the state of Louisiana is likely to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast shoreline -- threatening the industries and environment on the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, who is leading the response to the spill, said the oil will hit the shoreline "at some point" and cause major problems.
The Coast Guard commander added that the spill has not yet disrupted vital shipping lanes along the southern U.S. coast -- but has the potential to do so.
The governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has meanwhile warned that the oil slick is threatening the "way of life" of residents of the state.
Oil sheen from the spill has begun washing up on the Louisiana coast, while bad weather was reported to be hampering efforts to clean up the slick, with rough waters and high winds keeping boats and planes away.
Reports say there are also indications that the slick is continuing to grow in size, with a ruptured underwater well continuing to leak tens of thousands of liters of oil.
The White House said President Barack Obama plans to travel to the region later today to observe operations to contain the slick.
The slick was caused after a British Petroleum-operated oil rig exploded and sank on April 22.
compiled from agency reports