Almost all the fuel oil from the Japanese-owned ship that has caused a huge oil spill off the coast of Mauritius has been pumped out, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has said.
The operation had been a race against the clock, he added, amid fears that the MV Wakashio would hack. The ship, believed to possess been carrying 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil, ran aground on a reef on 25 July. Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs and trendy tourists. The fuel has been transferred to shore by helicopter and to a special ship owned by the same Japanese firm, Nagashiki Shipping.
France has sent a military aircraft with pollution-control equipment from its nearby island of Réunion, while Japan has sent a six-member team to assist the French efforts. The Mauritius coast guard and variety of other police units are also at the situation within the south-east of the island.
Mr. Jugnauth said quite 3,000 of the 4,000 tonnes of oil from the ship’s fuel reservoirs had been pumped out. alittle amount remained onboard elsewhere. Police spokesperson Shiva Cooten said they “still have work to undertake to to but things are all under control”.Earlier, captain Khemraj Servansing said that cracks within the ship “keep increasing”.
“It is difficult to say when it’ll break but we have a boom deployment plan with the French Navy helping which we’ve made provisions for top sea booms,” he said. The MV Wakashio ran aground at Pointe d’Esny, a known sanctuary for rare wildlife. the planet also contains wetlands designated as a site of international importance by the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.
How bad is that the spillage?
On Friday, Mr. Jugnauth declared a state of emergency and appealed for international help Since then, volunteers have also been collecting straw from fields and filling sacks to make barriers against the oil. Others have made their own tubes with tights and hair to feature to the difficulty, and a couple of are cleaning up the island’s beaches.
Their actions went against an order from the govt. asking people to travel away the clean-up to local authorities.
Greenpeace Africa has warned that “thousands” of animal species were “at risk of drowning during a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security, and health”.
An oceanographer and environmental engineer in Mauritius, Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, told the BBC that local residents were now “breathing heavy vapours of oil”, and there was a “mixture of sadness and anger” over the spill.
Bigger disaster avoided
By Navin Singh Khadka, BBC World Service environment correspondent Mauritian prime minister’s announcement that almost all the remaining oil from the Japanese-owned ship has been pumped out certainly comes nearly as good news.
The simple reason: the super-sensitive marine environment has now avoided suffering an oil spill 3 times worse than it’s seen within the past few days. But, the averted loss is one thing – the damage already done is another.
The fact remains that this uniquely biodiversity-rich marine ecosystem – one of the few left on Earth – has already been polluted by nearly 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil .
Marine biologists say that’s enough for the longer-term consequences of the entire marine life – from coral reefs to mangroves to endangered animals and birds. and thus the Mauritian economy is all about them.