Mauritius PM warns damaged ship leaking oil could split

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A ship that ran aground off Mauritius leaking tonnes of oil into the ocean is cracking, the prime minister said, threatening an even greater ecological and economic disaster for the island nation.

Oil spill off Mauritius after bulk carrier ship Wakashio hit the coral reefs
An aerial photograph shows oil drifting ashore from the MV Wakashio, a Japanese owned Panama-flagged bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, 08 August 2020 (issued 09 August 2020). Several auxiliary ships are positioned next to and near the grounded ship and oil containment booms have been set up in multiple locations nearby to try and contain the oil slick. EPA-EFE/PIERRE DALAIS

More than 1,000 tonnes of fuel have seeped from the bulk carrier MV Wakashio into the azure sea off southeast Mauritius, befouling the coral reefs, white-sand beaches and pristine lagoons that lure tourists from around the globe.

But another 2,500 tonnes remain aboard the stricken vessel, which ran aground on a reef on July 25 but only started oozing from a crack in the hull in the past week.

Experts warn a further rupture could unleash a spill that will be beyond catastrophic for the fragile coastal ecosystem upon which Mauritius, and its economy, relies.

Read more via Al Jazeera

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