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Mauritius Faces Environmental Crisis as Stranded Ship Leaks Oil

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Oil leaks from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, in what the island nation has now declared an environmental emergency.
Oil leaks from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, in what the island nation has now declared an environmental emergency.
Photo: Georges de La Tremoille (AP)

Mauritius has declared a “state of environmental emergency” after a Japanese bulk carrier that wrecked on its shores in late July began leaking tons of oil into the Indian Ocean. The environmentalist group Greenpeace says the spill is likely to be one of the worst ecological crises the island nation has ever seen and could seriously threaten local coral, fish, and other marine life species.

“Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health,” the organization said in a statement Friday evening.

Earlier that day, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth issued a call for international assistance after fuel began leaking from the MV Wakashio, a tanker owned by the Nagashiki Shipping Company, through cracks in its hull. The ship ran aground on the country’s southeast coast on July 25 with 4,000 tons of fuel onboard, per the Associated Press.

“The sinking of the #Wakashio represents a danger for Mauritius,” Jugnauth tweeted in a plea for French aid. “Our country doesn’t have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships,” he continued, and the spill “represents a danger” for its 1.3 million people and the local tourism industry—already suffering a blow from the coronavirus pandemic—that they heavily rely on.

Satellite images released on Friday showed the dark slick seeping into the water around the vessel, which the government has called a “very sensitive” environmental area, and washing ashore. In his tweet, Jugnauth said that the same bad weather that’s prevented local authorities and Nagashiki personnel from cleaning up the spill so far is only expected to get worse this weekend, and he’s concerned about how the rough seas could further damage the ship and hamper emergency response efforts.

On Saturday, France said it planned to send military aircraft loaded with pollution control equipment from its closest neighbor to Mauritius, the French island of Reunion, according to a statement from embassy officials there. A navy vessel with additional materials would also be en-route.

“When biodiversity is in peril, there is urgency to act,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. “France is there. Alongside the people of Mauritius. You can count on our support dear Jugnauth.”

Nagashiki has stated that it’s committed to working with officials to free the tanker as soon as weather permits. “We will do our utmost working with the Mauritius authorities and relevant Japanese organizations to offload the oil still in the ship, clean up the spill and safely remove the vessel,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

Mauritius police have opened an inquiry into the wreck to investigate claims of negligence, as the tanker had been en route from China to Brazil according to online ship trackers, per the AP. After a salvage team identified the cracks in its hull, the team was evacuated and roughly 400 sea booms were set up to try and contain the spill, the nation’s environment minister, Kavy Ramano, told reporters Thursday.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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