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AFP
August 10, 2020

Mauritius struggles to contain oil spill

World

AFP
August 10, 2020

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: Thousands of Mauritians raced to contain a catastrophic oil spill swamping its pristine ocean and beaches on Sunday as frustration mounts over why more wasn’t done to prevent the ecological disaster.

The bulk carrier MV Wakashio has been seeping fuel into a protected marine park boasting unspoiled coral reefs, mangrove forests and endangered species, prompting the government to declare an unprecedented environmental emergency.

Attempts to stabilise the stricken vessel, which ran aground on July 25 but only started leaking oil this week, and pump 4,000 tonnes of fuel from its hold have failed, and local authorities fear rough seas could further rupture the tanker.

Japan said on Sunday it would send a six-member expert team to assist, joining France which dispatched a naval vessel and military aircraft from nearby Reunion Island after Mauritius issued an appeal for international help.