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Oil spill from 203,130-ton bulker threatens Mauritius beaches

A 203,130-dwt Panamanian bulk carrier aground off Mauritius, is leaking oil and cracking up, and threatens disaster for the island nation dependent on its tourist beaches, reports Agence France-Presse

11 August 2020 - 19:00

A 203,130-dwt Panamanian bulk carrier aground off Mauritius, is leaking oil and cracking up, and threatens disaster for the island nation dependent on its tourist beaches, reports Agence France-Presse.

More than 1,000 tonnes of fuel have seeped from the Wakashio into the azure sea off southeast Mauritius, 820 miles east of Madagascar, befouling the coral reefs, white-sand beaches.



But another 2,500 tonnes remain aboard the stricken vessel, which ran aground on a reef on July 25 but only started oozing from a crack in the hull in the past week.



Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said response crews had managed to staunch the leak for now but were bracing for worse to come.



'The cracks have grown. The situation is even worse,' said Prime Minister Jugnauth. 'The risk of the boat breaking in half still exists.'



Japan said it would send a six-member expert team to assist with what Mauritius has declared an unprecedented environmental emergency.



France also dispatched a naval vessel, a military aircraft and technical advisers from nearby Reunion Island after Mauritius appealed for international help.



Mitsui OSK Lines, which operates the vessel owned by another Japanese company, promised to 'make all-out efforts to resolve the case'.


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