Locals and environmental experts from the island nation of Mauritius are desperately trying to save their surrounding beaches and oceans from becoming an environmental catastrophe after the Japanese-owned MV Wakashio bulk oil carrier struck a coral reef off the coast on July 25.
The MV Wakashio was reportedly carrying a shipment that included 4,290 tonnes of low-sulfur fuel oil, 228 tonnes of diesel and 99 tonnes of lubricant oil, when it struck the the coral reef about 3.2 kilometers off the Mauritius coast, according to Live Science.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has since declared the situation a state of emergency.
“This is no longer a threat to our environment, it is a full-blown ecological disaster that has affected one of the most environmentally important parts of Mauritius, the Mahebourg Lagoon,” said Sunil Dowarkasing, an environmental consultant and former member of parliament.
“The people of Mauritius, thousands and thousands, have come out to try to prevent as much damage as possible,” said Dowarkasing, who spoke from the relief efforts at Bois des Amourettes by the lagoon, according to AP News.
Recent Drone footage captured by The National shows those cleanup efforts underway. In the video, which has already amassed over 300k views in the last 24 hours, you can the devastating impact the oil spill has had on the environment. The once picturesque beach fronts are now covered in a thick layer of oil, while the crystal clear waters of the surrounding ocean are now a mixture of sediment and oil.
Take a look at the footage below:
Drone footage shows the extent of the oil spill in Mauritius
Gepostet von The National am Sonntag, 9. August 2020
— Carola Rackete (@CaroRackete) August 7, 2020
Mauritius have declared
‘State of Environmental Emergency’ and have reached out for assistance. The 4000 tonnes, Japanese owned, ship ran aground offshore now spilling oil into the Indian Ocean.#Wakashio #Mauritius #oilspill #tanker #emergency #bluelagoon #portlouis pic.twitter.com/VYp9r7ETf5
— Jay Rachet MC © (@jayrachetmc) August 8, 2020
Image credit: Twitter/@mediaindiagroup