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Rod Speed Rod Speed is offline
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Default Sri Lanka battles waves of plastic waste from burning ship

"John J" wrote in message
On Monday, 31 May 2021 at 01:02:01 UTC+1, David P wrote:
Sri Lanka battles waves of plastic waste from burning ship
by Amal Jayasinghe, 5/28/21, Phys Org

Tons of plastic pellets from a burning container ship swamped
Sri Lanka's west coast Friday, prompting a ban on fishing
as int'l efforts to salvage the vessel dragged into a 9th day.

The govt announced the ban along an 80-km (50-mi) coastal area,

including Colombo, fearing contamination with pollutants &
plastic waste from the stricken ship.

"We will compensate the owners of 5,600 boats affected by the
ban," fisheries minister Kanchana Wijesekera said while adding
that seafood currently in the market was safe for consumption.

Millions of plastic granules washed up at the holiday resort
of Kalutara€”43 km south of Colombo€”on Friday, a day after
similar pollution at Negombo, a tourist & fishing area 40 km
north of the capital.

Sri Lankan authorities meanwhile deployed hundreds of
security personnel in hazmat suits to clean the beaches of
plastic waste & other debris from the Singapore-registered
MV X-Press Pearl burning since May 20.

Sri Lanka navy chief Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne said
the fire was largely under control & the risk of the vessel
breaking up had diminished.

"Right now there is no threat of the ship breaking up, but
we don't know how much of oil is still left," Ulugetenne
told reporters in Colombo.

-Microplastic threat-

Sri Lanka's Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA)
said a possible oil leak was the biggest threat, but the
ship's plastic cargo had already caused extensive damage.

The impact on mangroves & lagoons was still being estimated
while a beach clean up was already underway. Harm to marine
wildlife and birds is also being assessed.

"Sri Lanka is one of the best bio-diverse countries in Asia
& this type of plastic pollution, esp. from microplastics
can have long term repercussions," MEPA chairperson
Dharshani Lahandapura said.

"Microplastics are already an issue in the world's oceans &
this disaster here is making it worse for us."

Microplastics are very small pieces of any type of plastic
less than 5 mm & could be ingested by fish & in turn get
into humans.

She said much of the cargo, incl. 25 tons of nitric acid,
sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), lubricants & other chems
appeared to have been destroyed in the huge fire.

Bulldozers scooped up tons of the polythene pellets that
came from at least 8 containers that fell off the ship Tues.

Officials said the vessel was known to carry 28 containers
of pellets that are used as a raw material in the packaging

The X-Press Pearl, which is anchored just outside the
Colombo harbor, was still smouldering & an int'l salvage
effort to put out the fire was underway.

The fire broke out on May 20 as the ship waited to enter
the Colombo port. Authorities believe the fire was caused
by a nitric acid leak which the crew had been aware of
since May 11.

The 25-member crew evacuated on Tues & two of them suffered
minor injuries in the process, the owners of the vessel
said on Thurs.

Oil residue & charred containers have already washed
ashore at Negombo.

Four Indian vessels have joined Sri Lanka's navy in the
battle to contain the fire. Two of the vessels were also
equipped to deal with an oil slick, officials said.

Salvage operations are led by the Dutch company SMIT which
has sent specialist fire fighting tugs.

SMIT, renowned salvage troubleshooters, was also involved
in dousing the flames on an oil tanker that caught fire off
Sri Lanka's east coast last Sept after an engine room
explosion that killed a crew member.

The fire on the New Diamond tanker took more than a week to
put out & left a 40-km (25-mi) long oil spill. Sri Lanka
has demanded the owners pay a $17 million clean-up bill.

Does David P spend his entire existence searching long winded
and usually irrelevant articles to repost and clog up bandwidth?

When he isnt blind drunk on a binge, anyway.