Video: X-Press Pearl spells environmental disaster for Sri Lanka

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Image: Sri Lankan Air Force.
REKLAMA

Pollutants and debris from the burning containership, X-Press Pearl, have reached Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst environmental disaster in its history as microplastics and pollutants from the burning containership, X-Press Pearl, reach its shores.

The fire on the Singapore-registered ship broke out on 20th May and has been burning ever since, despite the best efforts of the Sri Lankan navy and Indian coastguard to contain the blaze.

“With the available information so far, this can be described as the worst disaster in my lifetime,” said Dharshani Lahandapura, the chair of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA).

MEPA said chemicals had leaked into the sea and microplastics used to make plastic bags have washed up on Sri Lanka’s shores, causing ecological damage to coral reefs, lagoons, and mangroves that could decades to repair.

The Sri Lankan government has promised an investigation into the disaster — reports indicate the blaze was started by a nitric acid leak.

Fishing has been banned within a 50-mile radius of the scene and local people have been advised not to touch any of the debris as it could be highly toxic.

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