Mauritius : Environmental Emergency | UPSC

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Mauritius _ Environmental Emergency _ UPSC

Mauritius : Environmental Emergency

      HEADLINES:

Mauritius declares environmental emergency

      WHY IN NEWS:

International organisation Greenpeace has warned that the country, which depends on ecotourism, could be devastated by the disaster.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS the incident is similar to Russian emergency last month . Go through the causes of oil spills .

For MAINS oil spills are dangerous . Birds get trapped , ocean get toxic . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

The island country of Mauritius has declared an environmental emergency after a ship that ran aground on a reef in the Indian Ocean started leaking fuel.

STRANDED SHIP

  • The ship, the MK Wakashio, is Japanese-owned but registered in Panama.
  • It was travelling from China to Brazil when it struck the reef on July 25 and its crew was evacuated.

Due to bad weather and constant pounding by the ocean, the ship began to leak fuel, of which, there was 4,000 tonnes on board.

  • Mauritius is world-renowned for its coral reefs.

OIL SPILLS

SPILLS CAN BE CAUSED BY

  • People making mistakes or being careless.
  • Equipment breaking down.
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes.
  • Deliberate acts by terrorists, countries at war, vandals, or illegal dumpers.

HOW CAN IT BE CLEANED?

  • Booms, which are floating barriers to oil (for example, a big boom may be placed around a tanker that is leaking oil, to collect the oil).

Skimmers, which are boats that skim (scoop) spilled oil from the water surface.

  • Sorbents, which are big sponges used to absorb oil.
  • Chemical dispersants and biological agents, which break down the oil into its chemical constituents.
  • In situ burning, which is a method of burning freshly spilled oil, usually while it’s floating on the water.
  • Washing oil off beaches with either high-pressure or low-pressure hoses.

Vacuum trucks, which can vacuum spilled oil off of beaches or the water surface.
 

  • Shovels and road equipment, which are sometimes used to pick up oil or move oiled beach sand and gravel down to where it can be cleaned by being tumbled around in the waves.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Mauritius’ Prime Minister has appealed to France for help.
  • The French island of Reunion is situated near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
SUGGESTED READING : RUSSIAN OIL SPILL 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Mauritius : Environmental Emergency | UPSC

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