India sends team to Mauritius to tackle oil spill

By Manoj Kumar and Omar Mohammed (Reuters) - India has sent technical equipment and a team of specialists to Mauritius to help local authorities deal with an environmental crisis after an oil spill from a Japanese ship, a government official said on Sunday. A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of 'environmental emergency'. The carrier split on Saturday, and the oil spill spread over a vast area of endangered corals, fish and other marine life in what some scientists called the country's worst ecological disaster.

Reuters August 17, 2020 00:11:15 IST
India sends team to Mauritius to tackle oil spill

India sends team to Mauritius to tackle oil spill

By Manoj Kumar and Omar Mohammed

(Reuters) - India has sent technical equipment and a team of specialists to Mauritius to help local authorities deal with an environmental crisis after an oil spill from a Japanese ship, a government official said on Sunday.

A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of "environmental emergency".

The carrier split on Saturday, and the oil spill spread over a vast area of endangered corals, fish and other marine life in what some scientists called the country's worst ecological disaster.

On Sunday, Mauritian authorities said the stern section of the vessel had been completely detached, with the remainder of the ship slowly being towed by two tugs towards high seas.

The country's National Crisis Committee said that rough weather conditions had made the removal of the remaining oil on the ship risky.

"There is still approximately 30 cubic meter of mixed type of oil in the engine room," it said in the statement. "In view of the rough sea condition, the salvage company...has informed that it cannot carry on with the pumping of the remaining oil."

Authorities said that they have cordoned-off Blue Bay Marine Park, with three layers of booms.

"Deflection booms have been placed to further protect Ile aux Aigrettes from any oil spill. Furthermore, 2 kms of booms have been placed along the shoreline of Pointe d'Esny. Additional booms are being placed this afternoon," the Crisis Committee said.

Scientists say the full impact of the spill is still unfolding, but the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades. Removing the ship is likely to take months.

Following a government request for assistance, India dispatched over 30 tonnes of technical equipment and material by aircraft to supplement the country's salvage operations, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement said.

Mauritius said that some of these materials are being deployed at Riviere La Chaux, Riviere des Creoles, Riviere Ferney and Grand River South East.

A 10-member team of Indian coast guard personnel trained in oil spill containment measures has also been deployed to Mauritius to provide technical and operational assistance, it said.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Omar Mohammed; editing by Richard Pullin and Toby Chopra)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.