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Japan-Owned Oil Tanker Breaks Apart off Mauritius Coast

This aerial picture taken on August 16, 2020, shows the MV Wakashio bulk carrier that had run aground and broke into two parts near Blue Bay Marine Park, Mauritius. - A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tonnes of oil in pristine waters off the…

A Japanese bulk carrier that struck a coral reef last month off the Mauritius coast broke apart Saturday afternoon, the country’s National Crisis Committee said in a statement.

Images taken by the Maxar satellite company showed the damage on the Japanese-owned MK Wakashio and the oil spill around the vessel.

The ship hit the reef on July 25 and began spilling about 1,000 tons of oil, endangering corals, fish, and other marine life.

Emergency teams were immediately sent to pump the remaining 3,000 tons of oil off the ship.

As of Saturday, an estimated 90 tons of fuel oil was still on board, according to Mauritius authorities.

Mauritius declared an environmental emergency last week.

Some scientists called the accident the island’s worst ecological disaster but said the full impact of the oil spill is still to be determined.

Mauritius government said in a statement Friday that it would seek compensation from "the owner and the insurer" of MK Wakashio owned by Nagashiki firm, for "all losses and damages" caused by the spill for the cost of the cleanup.

The Japanese firm has pledged to "sincerely" respond to Mauritius’ request for compensations.