Mauritius scrambles to contain oil spill impact

People are scrambling to contain the impact of an oil spill off Mauritius, where a Japanese bulk carrier ran aground over two weeks ago.

The incident is leading to growing worries about both the local environment and the economy.

About 1,000 tons of heavy oil are estimated to have spilled from the ship.

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth says almost all of the oil has been removed from the ship. But the government says it still urgently needs international assistance.

Local volunteers are trying to clear up the oil using handmade bags filled with dried sugarcane stalks to protect the coast.

A local business owner said, “It is really going to affect the communities down there, especially for the fishermen, the local guys that live there. You know, that’s how they make money, from tourists.”

As the full impact of the spill becomes apparent, reports are coming in about the impact of the pollution on local marine life.