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The US has laid around 217,000 feet of protective boom barriers around the country's Gulf coast after a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico headed to US shores on Thursday night, prompting numerous states to declare a state of emergency.

Barack Obama, the US president, has ordered all domestic offshore drilling to be suspended amid the threat.

But there are already signs of criticism against the government's response to the spill, which officials said could trigger a disaster of "national significance".

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington. 

Source: Al Jazeera