The Japanese ship – MV Wakashio that had struck a reef on the Southeast coast of Mauritius has now broken into two halves. The bulk carrier ship owned by Okiyo Maritime Corporation and Nagashiki Shipping Co Ltd had run ashore on the 25th of July 2020 and began spilling tonnes of oil into the pristine turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean island – Mauritius. The matter escalated to be so grave that the country went ahead to declare a “state of environmental emergency”.
The CEO of Ocean Conservancy explains this to be “a disaster in every sense of the word”.
The oil had been spilled near areas that are ‘very sensitive’ environmental areas and the coral reefs and other marine life stands endangered. The country had already been trying to fight the adverse effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s economy heavily relies on tourism and considering the present situation the economy is sure struggling.
Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth had earlier stated that the country lacks adequate measures to deal with the oil spill and hence they have asked their closest neighbor – France for help. Removing the ship is supposedly a work that will take months and France has extend help in the cleanup.
The ship’s condition started worsening earlier on Saturday (15th August) and later in the afternoon, the ship split into two pieces as per the Mauritius National Crisis Committee.
The Committee said “at around 4.30 pm, a major detachment of the vessel’s forward section was observed. It further added that “on the basis of the experts’ advice, the towing plan is being implemented.”
Most of the oil has been pumped out of the vessel however approximately 166 tonnes of fuel oil still remains stored in the ship and the government and related authorities are working towards its removal. For the record, the Japanese ship had been carrying 1,000 tonnes of oil and was en route to Brazil from China.
As per some scientists, this the worst ecological disaster that Mauritius has faced ever. According to them, the full impact of the oil spill is yet to be seen, however, this oil spill could damage Mauritius’ tourism-dependent economy for the coming decades.
The authorities have already deployed booms on 15th August (Saturday) to absorb the oil spilled in water. Even Mauritians of all ages have come up to help fight the disaster. Many were spotted wearing gloves and masks entering neck-deep into the oil to help clean the mangroves and ocean to the best of their capabilities.
Hope you enjoy the article “MAURITIUS: JAPANESE SHIP BREAKS INTO TWO” stay tuned for more updates.