The Prime Minister of Mauritius issues an official warning that the oil leaking ship may break down completely. The announcement was made right after reports of large cracks in the cargo ship’s hull started doing the rounds. MV Wakashio, the vessel in danger, is carrying around 4,000 tons or more of fuel oil. The tragedy happened after MV Wakashio hit a coral reef near the Indian Ocean coast on July 25. Despite the uncertainty in the weather conditions, Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Juganath assured that around 500 tons of cargo could safely be removed on Monday, August 10. However, he said that Mauritius has to prepare itself for the worst situation now.
The evacuation and rescue work from oil leaking ship
Mauritius is a beautiful country famous for some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Therefore, tourism is one of the vital parts of the economy here. Now that there is a chance of a more significant incident, apart from the already existing pandemic, tourism will be hit badly. Fuel from MV Wakashio has already been transferred to another ship that belongs to the Nagashiki Shipping Company, the same Japanese firm that also owns the broken ship. To help Mauritius overcome the situation, France has provided a military aircraft that has pollution control technology. It has come from the nearby island of Réunion. On the other hand, Japan has allocated a team of six members to help the French army in their work. Besides, several police officers, and the coast guard workers are on continuous duty on the crash site.
Right from the time when the rescue work has started, several groups of volunteers are working relentlessly. They are trying to collect and fill-in straws in big sacks. Now, these can act as sound barriers to stop further leakage of oil. Moreover, they are also trying to create tight tubes for additional help. Plus, there are people on the site who are on a mission to clean up the beaches too. However, voluntary work by many people has become an issue because it is against the government’s orders. The government had clearly announced that nobody apart from the local authorities will take charge of cleaning in the accident site.
Concerns about the environment
In an interview, Ashok Subron, an environmental activist, came out to support the volunteers. He says that people want to do the work, and it is their way of trying to save the ecosystem of Mauritius. The ship operator Mitsui OSK Lines reports that he had made all the efforts to place proper containment booms surrounding the vessels. However, he could not make it possible due to the roughness of the sea. The MV Wakashio with a Panama registration is a bulk carrier and is supposedly carrying around 4,000 tons of cargo when the ship crashed. The good news is that all crew could be rescued immediately. However, environmentalists and experts believe that more than 1,000 tons of oil have already leaked into the ocean waters that are surrounding the ocean.
Now, environmentalists are in deep worry about all the effects on the environment. Moreover, the Pointe d’Esny into which the MV Wakashio hit is a famous rare wildlife sanctuary. The same area is also home to a few wetlands. These are under special allotment as places of international significance by the Ramsar Convention. On the other hand, Happy Khamule of the Greenpeace African Organization said that there is a risk that several thousands of animal species may drown inside the polluted waters. All of this put together can pose dire consequences for the economy of Mauritius.