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In Pictures: Ship leaking oil off Mauritius breaks apart –

A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tonnes of oil in pristine waters off the coast of Mauritius has split in two.

The Japanese-owned bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the southeastern coast of Mauritius on July 25 and began oozing oil more than a week later, threatening a protected marine park boasting mangrove forests and endangered species.

“It was confirmed on August 15 that the vessel has broken into two,” the ship’s operator Mitsui OSK Lines said in a statement on Sunday, noting that the information came from the vessel’s owner, Nagashiki Shipping.

Nearly all of the remaining 3,000 tonnes of oil had been pumped off the ship by that time, though there were still 90 tonnes on board, much of it residue from the leakage.

Mitsui noted on Sunday that “an amount of unrecovered oil is believed to have leaked out of the vessel”, without providing details.

Mauritius has declared an environmental emergency and thousands of Mauritians have volunteered day and night to clean the powder-blue waters that have long been a favourite among honeymooners and tourists.

The spill is an environmental and economic disaster for Mauritius, which relies heavily on tourism.

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

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A cargo ship leaking tons of oil off the Mauritius coast has split in two – CNN

(CNN)A ship that has leaked tons of oil off the coast of Mauritius has split apart, authorities said on Saturday.

“At around 4.30 pm, a major detachment of the vessel’s forward section was observed,” the National Crisis Committee of Mauritius said in statement.
The Japanese-owned ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground at Pointe d’Esny in late July and began leaking tons of oil into a pristine Indian Ocean lagoon last week.
A massive clean-up operation involving thousands of local volunteers had been underway. But a crack inside the hull of the ship expanded earlier this week, according to the ship’s operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, a Japanese company.
Tal Harris, a communications coordinators for Greenpeace Africa International, told CNN that authorities have “decreed the area a forbidden zone” and volunteers have been asked to ceased activities.
Earlier this week, Sunil Dowarkasing, a former strategist for Greenpeace International and former member of parliament in Mauritius, told CNN that one of the ship’s three oil tanks had already leaked into the ocean and crews were attempting to remove the oil from the other tanks before the ship broke up.
It’s unclear how much oil was removed before Saturday. Earlier this week, the operator, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, said about 1,180 metric tons of oil had leaked from the vessel’s fuel tank — with about 460 tons manually recovered from the sea and coast. The ship was carrying about 3,800 tons of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil and 200 tons of diesel oil, according to the operator.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth had declared a state of environmental emergency.
“We are in a situation of environmental crisis,” Kavy Ramano, the country’s environment minister, had said.
The spill is close to two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and the Blue Bay Marine Park reserve. Nearby are a number of popular tourist beaches and mangrove plantations.
The MV Wakashio was on its way from China to Brazil when it ran aground on the reef on July 25.

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