Indian Ocean - New Oil Spill in Mauritius Near to Bird Sanctuary Linked to Sunken Japanese Ship Wakashio
The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius can’t seem to catch a break from major pollution events. It is currently dealing with a second major oil spill in the country.
The oil spill has been going on since last week, and was caused by a leak in a heavy fuel oil pipeline and storage tanks in the capital city of Port Louis. The tanks had been storing oil from the sunken Japanese vessel, the Wakashio.
The oil pipeline from the storage tanks had recently been installed and should have had anti-leak and pressure detection systems in them according to reports from Mauritius’ electricity board who commissioned the new pipeline for a recently refurbished power station called St Louis in the capital city of Port Louis.
There are conflicting reports on whether the leak in the pipeline had already been identified and fixed, and the cleanup operation is likely to be ongoing for several weeks. Early reports suggest 30,000 gallons could have been split in the region of Les Salines, which is adjacent to coastal land that was being reclaimed from a recent port dredging operation.
Officials have said that only 3000 gallons have been recovered from the land so far. However, operators of the facility have been criticized by local member of parliament Joanna Berenger, for not sharing details about the extent and nature of the leak, and what impact this could have on some of the densely populated poorer communities who live close to the Les Salines region of the capital city.