Pravind Jugnauth

Climate & Environment
Mauritius: Satellite image show ship spilling fuel; environmental emergency declared
MV Wakashio
MV Wakashio Credit: Nagashiki Shipping

The Japanese vessel MV Wakashio ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25th. It was reportedly carrying 4000 tons of fuel. New satellite images from Friday show dark oil spreading in the turquoise waters, near an area that is "very sensitive" according to the Mauritian.

The coasts wildlife has been brought from the island Ile aux Aigrettes to the mainland to avoid contact with the oil. Greenpeace reports that "thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d'Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius' economy, food security and health." The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is asking why authorities haven't acted earlier. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has asked France for help because Mauritius "doesn't have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships."

The weather has made work on the ship nearly impossible. Jugnauth worries "hat could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates" and the oil pushes to the mainland's shore.

Volunteers have started building makeshift barriers.