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The Worst Disaster on the Indian Ocean

On May 20, a cargo ship caught on fire off the sea in Sri Lanka and sank. The ship contained chemicals and hazardous materials which burned for almost 13 days. This ship was headed to Singapore. The captain, chief engineer of the ship, and the third officer are Russian nationals according to AFP.

The Sri Lankan government and navy said this incident is the country’s worst marine disaster, and this sinking ship was carrying 1,486 containers of chemicals and 25 metric tons of nitric acid.

Sri Lanka’s MEPA (Marine Environment Protection Authority) said in a statement, Waves of plastic waste are washing up on shore, and navy sailors were deployed to clean the beaches of the plastic pellets. This disaster will bring immense ecological damage to the Indian Ocean islands from not only this microplastic pollution but also to the fishing industries as well.

Sri Lankan government decided to drag this ship deeper to sea to reduce further damage but when the navy and stakeholders began to drag the ship, it began to sink and completed sinking on Wednesday.

“The stern of the ship is underwater, the water level is above the deck,” spokesperson Indika de Silva said. “The ship will be towed as further away from the coast as possible before it goes down completely.”

The sinking area of this ship is rich in fish population, and the people make living from fishing. After the incident, this fishing town along a 50-mile coastline is currently out of work. A local fisherman said he had never seen such destruction, even when a tsunami hit the coastline in 2004.

The true gravity of the situation is not yet known.

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