Mauritius oil spill in the Indian Ocean

People in south-east Mauritius on Thursday looking at the stricken MV Wakashio which is Japanese-owned but Panamanian-flagged. High waves have hampered efforts by the ship's operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines to contain the fuel spill and bad weather

Panic After Stranded Ship Leaks Large Amounts Of Oil In Sea

Attempts to stabilise the stricken vessel, which ran aground on July 25 but started leaking oil only last week, and pump 4,000 tonnes of fuel from its hold have failed.

"We are expecting the worst", he added.

On 30th July, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritius counterparty Pravind Jugnauth virtually inaugurated the new Supreme Court Building, which was built with India's assistance. Satellite images released by space technology company MAXAR on Friday illustrate how severe the situation is, showing a hazy black slick of oil bleeding into the surrounding turquoise blue waters.

A general view shows the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, that ran aground on a reef, at Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on August 10, 2020. "We believe it will break into two at any time, at the maximum within two days", Gardenne said. "So much oil remains in the ship, so the disaster could become much worse".

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Additionally, helicopters have been deployed to transfer containers of fuel oil removed from the site. A French naval vessel with technical advisers aboard arrived Sunday from nearby Reunion, a French Indian Ocean island.

"We will never be able to recover from this damage". She said Mauritians were making booms to float on the sea out of sugar cane leaves, plastic bottles and hair that people were voluntarily cutting off.

"People have realized that they need to take things into their hands".

The opposition and activists are calling for the resignation of the environment and fisheries ministers.

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The bulker struck a reef at Pointe d'Esny, an ecological jewel fringed by idyllic beaches, colorful reefs, sanctuaries for rare and endemic wildlife, and protected wetlands. Mauritius has maintained its reputation as a conservation success, and one of the top global destinations for nature lovers.

"The danger of the ship breaking into two is increasing hour by hour", environmental consultant Sunil Dowarkasing, a former member of parliament in Mauritius, told the Associated Press. This is especially depressing news considering that Mauritius is home to a rich array of marine life, from tropical fish and large predatory fish to sea turtles and corals. When the Russian-flagged tanker Nakhodka sank in the Sea of Japan back in 1997, spilling about 6,200 tons of oil, agreed-to damages payments reached 26.1 billion yen ($246 million at current rates).

Global climate campaigners have responded to the oil spill in recent days with condemnation for the fossil fuel industry and calls for worldwide assistance.

However, the catastrophe could act as a catalyst in the decline of fossil fuels, argues Khambule.

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