Authorities in Mauritius, on Friday, August 7, 2020 said they were battling with a huge oil spill from a Japanese vessel, off the coast of the popular tourist island.
Photographs from the air showed the oil slick spreading through the turquoise waters off the island.
Other images in L’Express newspaper showed blackened beaches and dead marine life.
Deborah de Chazal, Executive Director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, which is working with the government to address the disaster, told dpa that the boat was carrying 4,000 tons of oil when it ran aground on July 25.
“Booms have been installed to collect the oil near the wreck and others to protect some key sites, including Blue Bay Marine Park,’’ she said.
“Help and equipment is being brought in from abroad as Mauritius has limited equipment in the country to address the oil spill.
“I understand there are discussions to see if the remaining oil can be pumped from the wreck.’’
The crew of the Panamanian-flagged ship the Wakashio, which ran aground, are in quarantine on the island, which is located off the east African coast, local media reported.
The Environment Ministry is working with local NGOs to try containing the damage, L’Express reported.
“There are mangrove forests along this coast, which could be badly impacted, and then all the marine life – fish, corals and seabirds,’’ de Chazal said.