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Mauritius oil spill: Locals scramble to contain environmental damage August 09,2020   |  Source: BBC News

Volunteers in Mauritius are scrambling to create cordons to keep leaking oil from a tanker away from the island.

The MV Wakashio, believed be carrying 4,000 tonnes of oil, ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July.

Locals are making absorbent barriers of straw stuffed into fabric sacks in an attempt to contain and absorb the oil.

Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs, and tourism is a crucial part of its economy.

Images posted online by local media show volunteers collecting straw from fields and filling sacks to make barriers.

Others have been making their own tubes with tights and hair to add to the effort and some have been cleaning up the island's beaches.

Their actions go against an order from the government asking people to leave the clean-up to local authorities.

"People have realised that they need to take things into their hands. We are here to protect our fauna and flora," environmental activist Ashok Subron told AFP news agency.

Mitsui OSK Lines, the operator of the ship, said it had tried to place its own containment booms around the vessel but had not been successful owing to rough seas.

Helicopters are attempting to move some of the fuel and diesel off the ship.

It is thought that the ship, registered

 

© 2020 BBC

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