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Oil spill in Mauritius: Rush to pump out all oil before the ship breaks



Delivery on Wednesday

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Jean Mary Garrett

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Oil spills have caused an environmental disaster in Mauritius

Authorities hope to complete pumping up the remaining oil from the ship that caused the major oil spill off the coast of Mauritius on Wednesday.

The aim was to transfer the fuel oil to the landing before the Japanese-owned Wakashio MV disbanded.

The ship, believed to carry 4,000 tons of fuel oil, ran aground on a reef on July 25.

Mauritius is home to world-famous coral reefs and tourism is an important part of its economy.

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The fuel was transported ashore by helicopter and another ship owned by the same Japanese company, Nagashiki Shipping.

France sent a military aircraft with pollution control equipment from the nearby island of Réunion, while Japan sent a six-member team to support the French efforts.

The Mauritius coast guard and several police units are also present at the site on the southeastern side of the island.

What are the authorities saying?

Sheriff Khemraj Servansing told the media that the cracks on the train “continue to increase”

;.

“It is difficult to say when it will break but we have an explosive deployment plan with the help of the French Navy and we have come up with terms for explosions at sea,” he said.

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Media annotationMore than 1,000 tons of oil have been leaked into waters near Mauritius

Mr. Servansing added that “it is very likely” that the pump operation will be terminated on Wednesday.

“I can say that a large amount of oil has been pumped and 700 tons is still on board,” the chief said.

MV Wakashio stranded at Pointe d’Esny, a known rare wildlife sanctuary. The area also contains wetlands designated by the Ramsar Wetlands Convention as a site of international importance.

How bad is the overflow?

On Friday, Prime Minister Mauritian Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of emergency and called for international help.

Since then, volunteers have also collected straw from the fields and filled sacks as a barrier against oil.

Others have made their own hose out of socks and hair to add to the effort, and some are cleaning up the island beaches.

Their actions went against a government order that asked the people to let the local government clean up.

The African Green Peace Organization has warned that “thousands of” animals are “at risk of drowning in polluted seas, with serious consequences for the economy, food security and health of Mauritius “.

A Mauritius oceanographer and environmental engineer, Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, told the BBC that locals are currently “breathing heavy oil gasses”, and there is a “mixture of sadness and anger” over the spill. .

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AFP

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Volunteers are trying to limit the damage

It has also led to political retrials in Mauritius, the BBC’s Yasine Mohabuth reports from the Indian Ocean island.

The opposition is asking the government to respond to the oil spill, while community activists are urging senior ministers to resign, including Environment Minister Kavy Ramano.

Akihiko Ono, the ship’s executive vice president, Mitsui OSK Lines, “deeply apologized” for the oil spill and for “the great trouble we have caused”.

He swore that the company would do “everything in their power to solve the problem”.

Police in Mauritius say they have been given a search warrant, allowing them to board the ship to remove items of interest such as the ship’s diary to help with the investigation. The ship’s captain will assist officers in the search.


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