Could this be the death of the Sri Lankan sea?
A Singapore flagged cargo ship, MV X – PRESS PEARL, caught fire on the Colombo coast on May 20. After a Singapore flagged cargo ship caught fire near Colombo beach, Sri Lanka was facing the worst marine ecological disaster. The x – press pearl was carrying a load of chemicals and raw materials for cosmetics from Hazira in Gujarat from Colombo Port on the 20th of May.
According to INTERPOL, the burning vessel was one of two vessels roaming around the Indian Ocean carrying dangerous chemicals over the last few weeks. A well-known Sri Lankan environmentalist Nayanaka Ranwella warned “This could be the tragedy, the death of our sea”.
Mr. Ranwella stated that it was not sure whether the ship was even carrying nuclear substances. He said there were fears that this vessel was carrying dangerous mercury, arsenic, and lead which are much more harmful than nitric acid.
The x – press pearl has burned for 11 straight days off the island’s west coast. It is and caused some of its worst-ever marine pollutions. The Singapore-registered ship had 25 tons of nitric acid and other chemicals as well as 28 containers of plastic raw material, much of which fell into the sea. The officials said that a large number of Dead Sea turtles, birds, and small fish could be seen along the coast.
The Sri Lanka navy said a fire aboard a cargo ship off Sri Lanka was finally extinguished Tuesday after a 13-day international operation. Sri Lanka’s navy was joined by India’s coastguard and tugs brought in by SMIT to battle the flames which destroyed much of the nearly 1,500 containers the vessel was carrying.
Chief Dharshani Lahandapura, the Marine Environment Protection Authority said they were still assessing the ecological damage, but she believed it was the “worst ever in my lifetime.”
The three-month-old Singapore ship was heading to Colombo from Gujarat India. It had previously visited Qatar, Dubai and was due to go to Malaysia and Singapore after calling Colombo.