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  • MV Wakashio oil spill accident, Mauritius, August 8, 2020

    MV Wakashio oil spill accident, Mauritius, August 8, 2020 | Photo: Twitter/ @pmc95

Published 10 August 2020
Opinion

Oil leak in Mauritius threatens to permanently damage the ecosystems of the area and to unleash a catastrophe

Mauritius' Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth Friday declared a state of environmental emergency after a stranded vessel began leaking oil into the ocean.

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The MV Wakashio has been spilling part of its 4,000 tonnes of oil and 200 tonnes of diesel over the last days, and it threatened to break in two on Sunday.

"The cracks had deepened. The situation is even worse,” Jugnauth said.

The oceanographer and environmental engineer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo believes that if the ship breaks in two, the situation will be out of control and impossible to stop.

"When biodiversity is in peril, there is urgency to act...France is there. Alongside the people of Mauritius. You can count on our support dear Jugnauth," French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Saturday.

The company Nagashiki Shipping, the owner of the ship, said that because of the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea.

"We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and we´ll take every effort with partner agencies and contractors to protect the marine environment and prevent further pollution," the company added.

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