India worried ship’s oil and chemical spill may reach its coral-rich southern coast

The sinking of the burnt chemical-laden container ship has raised concern among Indian authorities about pollution reaching the coral-rich southern coast. The accident site is 300km from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. Indian researchers are keeping a close watch. An official from the National Centre for Coastal Research, a laboratory under the ministry of earth sciences, that monitors and conducts coral restoration work in the Gulf of Mannar, said so far there is no sign of pollutants near the Indian shores. Meanwhile, researchers from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad, another MoES lab, said they would run an oil spill trajectory prediction model once they get data on the initial conditions and spillage from the Indian Coast Guard. The fire onboard the ship was put out after eight days’ struggle by three ICG ships and four Sri Lankan tugs. ICG’s Samudra Prahari which is a specialised pollution response vessel is standing by monitoring for signs of oil and chemicals pollution from the ship.

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