The Japanese-owned ship, MV Wakashio, met with disaster off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in late July, spilling at least 1,000 metric tons of oil near two environmentally protected marine areas.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency, with the country’s environment minister, Kavy Ramano, saying: “We are in a situation of environmental crisis.”

Experts fear that the ship, which contains three oil berths, is in danger of splitting in half as cracks have been observed. If this happens, thousands of tons of additional oil could leak into this environmentally sensitive area.

Clean up crews as well as volunteers are working diligently on mitigation measures for oil that has already spilled while other teams are working to remove oil from the two tankers that have not yet leaked.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has joined the effort to help Mauritius address the oil spill and is providing technical advice and coordinating the response. Other international organizations are also mobilizing environmental and oil spill experts.

 

Source: Petroleum Africa

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