Bulker that ran aground off Mauritius leaking tonnes of oil into the ocean is cracking, says an article published in PHYS.ORG.
Stranded ship cracking
According to the prime minister, the ship that ran aground off Mauritius leaking tonnes of oil into the ocean is cracking, posing greater ecological and economic disaster for the island nation.
Tonnes of fuel oil aboard
More than 1,000 tonnes of fuel has seeped from the bulk carrier MV Wakashio into the azure sea off southeast Mauritius.
Another 2,500 tonnes remain aboard the stranded vessel, which ran aground on a reef on July 25. Fuel started oozing from a crack in the hull in the past week, following which a state of emergency was declared.
Japan said Sunday it would send a six-member expert team to assist with what Mauritius has declared an unprecedented environmental emergency.
France also dispatched a naval vessel, a military aircraft and technical advisers from nearby Reunion Island after Mauritius appealed for international help.
For more information read our article [Watch] Emergency Declared As Stranded Bulker Spills Fuel Oil.
Experts warn a further rupture could unleash a spill that will be beyond catastrophic for the fragile coastal ecosystem upon which Mauritius, and its economy, relies.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said response crews had managed to stymie the leak for now, but were bracing for the worst.
The cracks have grown. The situation is even worse. The risk of the boat breaking in half still exists.
Volunteers in action
Thousands of volunteers have marshalled along the coastline, working around the clock, to reduce the damage, says an article published in TRT World.
Apology from shipping firm
Mitsui OSK Lines, which operates the vessel owned by another Japanese company, promised Sunday to “make all-out efforts to resolve the case”.
The shipping firm’s vice president, Akihiko Ono said, “We are terribly sorry”.
‘Already too late’
The slick has already begun drifting further up the coast, fanned along by strong winds and currents.
Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, an oceanographer and environmental engineer said that it’s already too late and if the ship breaks in two, the situation will be out of control.
We’re talking about a major disaster that is progressing, and it’s getting more complicated hour by hour.
Police seized the ship’s log book and black box from the Japanese-owned but Panamanian-flagged Wakashio as part of investigations into the disaster.
The bulker struck a reef at Pointe d’Esny, an ecological jewel fringed by idyllic beaches, colourful reefs, sanctuaries for rare and endemic wildlife, and unique RAMSAR-listed wetlands.
Double blow to economy
The spill is a double blow for tourist operators who had hoped foreign tourists could soon return to Mauritius after it reported no active cases of Coronavirus.
A fisherman said that fishing being their only activity was not sure as to how they will be able to feed their families.
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