|Type of Event:||Oil Spill|
|Location of Event:||Sri Lanka|
|Date of Charter Activation:||2021-06-04|
|Time of Charter Activation:||16:50|
|Time zone of Charter Activation:||UTC+09:00|
|Charter Requestor:||ADRC on behalf of Disaster Management Center|
|Project Management:||Disaster Management Centre, Sri Lanka|
The X-Press Pearl, a container vessel from Singapore, has sunk off the coast of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities are now preparing for an expected oil spill.
The X-Press Pearl was at anchor at the port of Colombo, when a fire started aboard on 20 May. The crew were evacuated and the vessel was on fire for 13 days before it was extinguished. During this time, containers from the X-Press Pearl spilled into the ocean, washing up on beaches along Sri Lanka's western coast. Many of the containers were filled with plastic pellets used for producing shopping bags.
Attempts were made to tow the X-Press Pearl further away from the coast but it was confirmed on 4 June that the rear sectin of the vessel had sunk and settled on the seabed. Options to refloat the vessel and move it further away are being considered, but poor weather and rough conditions at sea are making assessments difficult.
The vessel contained approximately 350 tonnes of oil in total, which is expected to cause extensive damage to Sri Lanka's marine ecosystem if an oil spill occurs.
The Marine Environment Protection Authority is readying oil dispersants, booms, and skimmers in the event that an oil spill is detected.
Map produced by NOAA