An emergency declared by Mauritius over the oil spill.

An emergency declared by Mauritius over the oil spill.

August 8, 2020.

An emergency declared by Mauritius over the oil spill. The island of Mauritius has declared an environmental emergency on August 8, 2020, after a ship from Japan starting spilling a huge amount of oil when stranded off the coast days ago. The ship’s owners were recognized as the Japanese companies Okiyo Maritime Corporation and Nagashiki Shipping Co Ltd. The government officials said that the ship ran aground on 25 July and the National Coast Guard received no distress call.

The emergency announced by the prime minister, Pravind Jugnauth, late on Friday when a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near environmental areas has been shown in the satellite images. The government of Mauritius called it a “very sensitive” issue. The government officials have said that there were approximately 4000 tons of oil loaded in the ship and cracks have appeared in its hull.

The cracks that appeared on the ship hull caused the oil spill and has put around 1 to 3 million people on the island to danger. The Mauritius government has requested to the French Government for help because the people of it already hard hit by the effect of the coronavirus epidemic.

The prime minister said, “Our country doesn’t have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships, so I have appealed for help from France and president Emmanuel Macron.” He also said, “Bad weather has made it impossible to act, and I worry about what could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates.”

The French Island of Reunion is the closest neighbor to Mauritius and France’s foreign ministry says France is Mauritius’s “leading foreign investor” and one of its largest trading partners. The Island of Reunion is a major military base of France in the Indian Ocean. In March 2020, India conducted joint patrols with the French Navy for the first time from the Reunion Island.

The environment minister of Mauritius, Kavy Ramano, said, “We are in a situation of environmental crisis.” He also said that the Blue Bay Marine Park and other areas near the leaking ship are “very sensitive”.

Greenpeace Africa’s climate and energy manager Happy Khambule said that tons of diesel and oil is now leaking into the water and due to this thousand 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’s economy, food security, and health.”

photo source-dw.com

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