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Oil spill threatens ecological disaster as Mauritius declares emergency August 09,2020   |  Source: Reuters

Fuel spilling from a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius two weeks ago is creating an ecological disaster, endangering corals, fish and other marine life around the Indian Ocean island, officials and environmentalists say.

The MV Wakashio, owned by the Nagashiki Shipping Company, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25.

On Thursday, the government said fuel was leaking from a crack in the vessel’s hull and Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency, pleading for international help.

“The sinking of the #Wakashio represents a danger for Mauritius,” Jugnauth said.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the spill was to likely to be one of the most terrible ecological crises that Mauritius has ever seen.

“Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

Satellite images released on Friday showed a slick spreading out into the turquoise waters surrounding the stricken vessel. Some fuel has washed ashore.

France was sending specialist teams and equipment to help Mauritius deal

 

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