Concerns of an Environmental Disaster due to the Burning of a Chemical Vessel

May 29, 2021 at 1:58 PM

The Sri Lankan authorities continue to extinguish the fire that broke out on the MV X-Press Pearl container ship loaded with chemicals, a few days ago near the coast of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, hoping to avoid a potential marine environmental disaster. On Thursday, Sri Lankan navy personnel and citizens began their operations to clean the beaches and remove the rubble of the container ship, which some of its dangerous contents and debris reached the shores. For his part, the Sri Lankan Minister of Environment, during his visit to the beach today, Thursday, urged citizens to refrain from eating fish because of dangerous chemicals and oil that could leak into the seawater, whereas the Minister of Public Security pointed out that if the ship’s fuel comes out with the fire, the damage it will cause will be more serious than the chemicals, adding that the experts are assessing whether the materials that reached the shores are harmful or not.

Sarath Weerasekara – Minister of Public Security added that “ In the ship there two dangerous substances, the chemicals that were brought on this ship, and the fuels in the ship, if the fuels come out with the fire, the damage it will cause is more dangerous than the chemicals, so we are trying to control the situation before it reaches that stage. Secondly, because of the fire, most of the items on the ship have floated ashore, we identify all of these items as chemicals harmful to humans, so we have made this area off-limits”

Mahinda Amaraweera – Minister of Environment mentioned that everyone in this area should refrain from engaging with the fish market. He further stated that they need to assess what will happen to the fish and the seabed, especially the vast amounts of oil and fuel on this ship. It needs to be assessed whether it will burn or sink to the seabed, It has been reported that there are many chemicals on the ship and need to assess whether the chemicals will get destroyed or sink to the seabed or reach the shores. Also what will happen to fishery and fish in this area and the residents need to be further assessed.

Source : A24