Oil spill off Mauritius is visible from space


The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is on the brink of an environmental catastrophe after a bulk carrier struck a coral reef off its coast in late July, an accident that has led to a large oil spill visible from space. The accident could lead to an even greater environmental disaster if the ship — whose cargo includes fuel oil, diesel and lubricant oil — breaks apart further, according to news sources.

The ship, the Japanese-owned MV Wakashio, hit a coral reef off Mauritius’ southeast coast, near Pointe d’Esny, on July 25. In the weeks since, a crack has appeared on its hull, meaning that the ship’s cargo is in jeopardy, a shipment that includes 4,290 tons (3,894 metric tons) of low-sulfur fuel oil, 228 tons (207 metric tons) of diesel and 99 tons (90 metric tons) of lubricant oil, which the ship was carrying from China to Brazil, according to The Swaddle, an Indian news site.

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