Mauritius has declared a ‘state of environmental emergency’ after nearly 4,000 tons of oil was spilled into the Indian Ocean when a Japanese-owned ship ran aground offshore.
According to an official government report, the ship ran aground on 25 July itself, but the officials did not receive any distress call. The ship was traveling from China to Brazil when this incident happened.
Lorsque la biodiversité est en péril, il y a urgence d’agir. La France est là. Aux côtés du peuple mauricien. Vous pouvez compter sur notre soutien cher @PKJugnauth. Nous déployons dès à présent des équipes et du matériel depuis La Réunion. https://t.co/uxoNhAQWfS— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 8, 2020
“Our country doesn’t have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships,” he said. Bad weather has made it impossible to act, and “I worry what could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates,” said Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
France was deploying teams and equipment from Reunion Island in response. France is providing all the support possible to the Mauritian authorities to deal with the fuel leak.
“This is a serious environmental crisis, and we are not yet aware of all the consequences it could have. It’s also terrible for Mauritius, whose economy is based on tourism and has already been severely impacted by the pandemic,” Younous Omarjee, a member of the European Parliament from Reunion Island, told CNN.
A police inquiry has already started, and currently, all sorts of rumors like negligence and all are coming up. We have to wait for official confirmation to believe all this.
A statement by Nagashiki Shipping Co. Ltd. said that “due to the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea. Nagashiki Shipping takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and will take every effort with partner agencies and contractors to protect the marine environment and prevent further pollution.”
This is a massive environmental crisis, and Mauritius is a country that is mainly dependent on tourism. This obviously would take a toll on the biodiversity of the place and affect the coral reefs to a large extent. An ecological crisis like this could affect the tourist places hugely and could have long-term effects on this nation. Let’s hope Mauritius recovers from this very soon.
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Source: Fox News