Mauritius races to clean up oil as ship leaking fuel breaks up | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 11, 2020

Mauritius races to clean up oil as ship leaking fuel breaks up

Salvage crews yesterday raced against time to prevent a second disastrous oil spill off the picture-perfect coastline of Mauritius, with a damaged tanker carrying thousands of tonnes of fuel at risk of splitting apart.

The bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on July 25 with 4,000 tonnes of fuel aboard and began seeping oil last week, staining coral reefs, mangrove forests and tranquil lagoons in an unprecedented environmental catastrophe for the archipelago nation.

More than 1,000 tonnes has already oozed from the ship, its Japanese operator says, causing untold ecological damage to protected marine parks and fishing grounds that form the backbone of Mauritius' economy.

Fuel was being airlifted yesterday by helicopter to the shore, but efforts to pump more from the hold were being thwarted by rough seas and strong winds.

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