(Image source from: deccanherald.com)
A Japanese carrier MV Wakashio has leaked hundreds of tons of fuel on July 25 in Mauritius and now the carrier has broken apart causing havoc in the Mauritius coast.
On 25th July 2020, a Japanese carrier, MV Wakashio with 4000 tonnes of fuel ran aground on a coral reef causing an emergency. Officials said that most of the spilled oil has been pumped out, however, the ship’s condition worsened on Saturday, August 15.
Mauritius is the home to world’s renowned coral reefs and tourism. The MV Wakashio has run aground at Pointe D'esny, the sanctuary known for its rare wild life. The area also contains wetlands designated as the site of International importance by Ramsar Convention.
Around 4 30 pm GMT on Saturday, a major detachment of the ship’s forward section was observed and about 90 tonnes of fuel is still believed to be aboard when the vessel split.
The Mauritius government said that it would seek compensation from the owner of the ship and the Japanese side has pledged to respond to compensations.
Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth said in a statement that about 4000 tonnes of oil has been pumped out till now and this oil is being stored in another ship owned by Japan using helicopters.
The US analytics company Usra Space Systems observed the situation using the radar data and revealed that the spill was spread across 27 square kilometers till August 11.
BBC World Service Economist, Navid Singh Khadka said that a spill thrice as large as this spill has been averted, however, a uniquely rich eco system has been polluted with 1000 tonnes of oil.
Last week, the Prime Minister Pravind declared the state of emergency and appealed for international help.
India has also extended help to its neighbouring country Mauritius by deploying Dhruv Helicopters by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Indian built helicopter Dhruv is helping the island in cleaning the Mauritius oil spill and transferring it to the shore where another Japanese ship is collecting this oil.
HAL’s Dhruv along with 3 other Chetak helicopters are extricating the skimmed oil from the vessel.
In 2016, India gifted Mauritius with 1 Dhruv and 2 Chetak helicopters. Dhruv is a utility helicopter made for the Indian Armed Forces. Many of the Dhruv helicopters have been supplied to Nepal’s army, Maldives and Mauritius.
When it comes to Chetak helicopters, India’s HAL started manufacturing these in 1962 by entering an agreement with Sud Aviation. The Chetak being used to clean Mauritius oil spill was built in 1987.
Yesterday, India sent equipment and a 10-member team to Mauritius to help the country deal with the crisis.
By Gayatri Yellayi