Environmental Disaster in Mauritius: Oil leaking from a bulk ship sparking fears among the inhabitants of the island

environmental disaster
photo credit: TOP FM

Mauritius island is going through an ecological disaster as oil leaking from a bulk carrier that ran aground on July 25, in the southeast of the island, is sparking fears among the inhabitants of the island.

“The ministry has been informed … that there is a breach in the vessel MV Wakashio and there is a leakage of oil,” the environment ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

“The public in general, including boat operators and fishers, are requested not to venture on the beach and in the lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg.”

its crew was evacuated safely and tested for the coronavirus.

According to the local press, the ship was carrying 200 tonnes of diesel and 3,800 tonnes of bunker fuel.

“We are in an environmental crisis situation,” Environment Minister Kavy Ramano told a news conference.

As a reminder, the Wakashio of 300 metres (984 feet), was built in 2007 with a gross tonnage of 101,000 and deadweight tonnage of 203,000.

 The island does not provide the adequate equipment to deal with this situation. “This is the first time that we are faced with a catastrophe of this kind, and we are insufficiently equipped to handle this problem,” said Fishing Minister Sudheer Maudhoo.

However, several measures have been taken by the authorities, including sending Anti-pollution systems to the two sites, as well as the call for assistance from their sister island of La Reunion.

So far, all attempts to stabilise the vessel were in vain due to the rough seas. Efforts to pump out the oil also failed.

According to ecologists, there is a possibility that the ship could break up, which would result in a greater leak of oil and inflict potentially catastrophic damage on the island’s coastline as well as marine life.