ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in the process of estimating the financial and environmental cost of the crisis created by the fire on board the Supertanker MT New Diamond, officials said.
The Spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Department Nishara Jayaratna in a statement issued today Sunday, Sept 6, said that AG Dappula de Livera had had a three-hour-long meeting with the Navy Commander, the Chairman of the Ports Authority, Head of the Marine Environment Protection Agency (MEPA) and others do discuss the issues surrounding the crisis.
During the discussion, de Livera instructed the officials to gather information to estimate the total cost incurred by Sri Lanka to deal with the fire on board the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) which has some 2.7 million tons of oil on board.
He instructed MEPA to go to the site when the ship is now and investigate whether there has been environmental damage caused by the ship due to oil leakage.
He said that all foreigners who were being flown into the country to deal with the crisis must follow Covid prevention guidelines.
He also called for an estimation of the damage caused to the environment to be prepared.
Meanwhile, the Navy stated that the fire onboard the New Diamond is now out.
The abandoned ship was towed to a position 70 kilometres away from the coast of Sri Lanka after it began drifting towards the eastern coast of the island on Thursday
As of Sunday morning, there was no oil spill, the Navy said.
The 299,000 deadweight tonne tanker caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka while transporting crude oil from Kuwait to India.
Twenty crew members are now on board the Sri Lanka Navy ship Sindurala. Arrangements are being made for them to talk to family members, the Navy said.
At least one crew member is presumed dead and one is being treated in hospital.
(Colombo September 6, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana