The Japanese ship that ran aground in Mauritius has stopped leaking oil but there is still danger of more spillage, the island nation’s government said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth confirmed in a televised briefing that there has been no more spillage from the tanker as of August 10.
However, he said huge cracks have appeared on the ship’s body, indicating that it could break apart and leak more fuel.
The premier, flanked by top officials, said the government has taken large-scale containment efforts to curb any additional spillage, including deploying emergency response teams.
MV Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier, hit a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and fuel started spilling from its hull over the past few days, sparking fears of an ecological disaster in Mauritius’ protected waters.
Prime Minister Jugnauth said Mauritius is doing all in its power to clean up and mitigate the impact of the spill, and urged the international community to assist the East African nation’s efforts.
He said quality tests have found air in the area to be safe, but the government has decided to keep schools closed until the cleaning process finishes.
The premier also thanked residents for coming out in large numbers to help in cleanup efforts.
The Mauritius Commercial Bank has given the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation some $75,000 to protect endangered flora and fauna, local media reported on Tuesday.
In a statement, the bank said it was imperative to relocate the species that live on Ile aux Aigrettes, a nature reserve located off the southeastern coast of Mauritius.
It hoped the money would “help protect the rarest endemic species of our environmental heritage.”
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