An oil spill has occurred off the coast of Mauritius. The country has declared a state of emergency

Mauritius authorities have reported an oil and diesel spill off the country’s southeast coast. Thousands of animal species and public health are under threat.

The island state of Mauritius has declared a state of emergency after fuel from the MV Wakashio, which ran aground near the country’s coast, began to enter the open ocean. If in the early days the leaks were small, now the authorities note that “several tons of fuel” got into the water.

Prime Minister Pravind Yugnaut has declared a state of emergency in the country. He also turned to French President Emmanuel Macron and asked for help in eliminating the accident. According to him, Mauritius “does not have the skills and experience to recover from such accidents.” The French island of Reunion is located near Mauritius.

The authorities also noted that thousands of animal species are at risk of extinction. The accident could also affect the economy, food security, and health of the people of Mauritius.

A Panamanian flagged vessel ran aground off the Pointe d’Esny coast, near the famous Blue Bay Lagoon. The country’s authorities note that there were about 4 thousand tons of fuel onboard the vessel. Attempts to stabilize the vessel and pump oil have failed due to storms, the Environment Ministry said.

“This is the first time we are faced with such a disaster, and we are not sufficiently prepared to deal with this problem,” said Fisheries Minister Sudher Modhu. Police have launched an investigation into the spill.