Mauritius oil spill: Ship could break into two, spells a huge environment catastrophe

Mauritius oil spill: Ship could break into two, spells a huge environment catastrophe

Despite volunteers and clean up crews trying to mitigate the impact ecologically, more damage to the ship is expected due to bad weather in Mauritius.

A Japanese owned ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground at Mauritius last month. It was travelling from China to Brazil. The ship ran aground at Pointe d’Esny on 25th July. It started leaking oil a few days back. Over 1000 metric tonnes of oil leaked into the fragile waters of the island. Clean up operations have been launched since Thursday. With over thousands of local people swarming to contain the ecological impact that this deadly oil spill can have.

It is now thought that about 2000 tonnes of oil had leaked out from the massive 4000 tonnes of oil present on the container. However, new crack on the ship can be seen emerging and that is not good news.

The country’s Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth said, that although the leak had stopped, the ship still had 2000 tonnes of oil present in the two undamaged tanks. “The salvage team has observed several cracks in the ship hull, which means we are facing a very serious situation. We should prepare for the worst-case scenario. It is clear that at some point the ship will fall apart.” Jugnauth expresses.

Pointe d’Esny is a region full of beautiful, fragile, rare and endemic wildlife with many sanctuaries. “We are starting to see dead fish. We are starting to see animals like crabs covered in oil, we are starting to sea birds covered in oil, including some which could not be rescued,” said Vikash Tatayah, who is the conversation director at Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.

The spill has been declared a state of Environmental Emergency on Friday by the Prime Minister. With fears about local livelihood and tourism emerging as the oil had seeped into the Mahebourg Lagoon, a well known scenic spot. Mauritius’ economy relies heavily on tourism and fishing. The tourism industry alone generated 63 billion rupees($1.6 billion) in 2019. The tourism industry had already been immensely affected due to the Coronavirus pandemic this year.

Conservationists, however, say that the scene is too early to assess and examine the extent of damage the oil spill can cause. They even want the government to conduct proper assessments regarding the oil spill. Mauritius has always been a country of conversation success and has maintained it. Hence turning it into one of the top global destinations for nature enthusiasts.

Nations like France and Japan have already sent help. The people of Mauritius are disappointed with how the government handled it. Huge campaigns are being run for the collection of Hair and leaves to contain and absorb the oil spills.

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