Sri Lankan PM inspects coastline affected by foreign ship fire – Xinhua English.news.cn
Sri Lankan security personnel load a truck with debris from the X-Press Pearl ship in Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 29, 2021. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday paid an inspection visit to the coastal area Uswetakeiyawa on the outskirts of the capital Colombo, which is hit by debris washed up by the fire-ravaged X-Press Pearl container ship, the prime minister’s office said. During the inspection visit, the prime minister instructed officials to speed up the delivery of relief to affected fishermen, a statement from the prime minister’s office said. (Photo by Ajith Perera / Xinhua)
COLOMBO, May 29 (Xinhua) – Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday paid an inspection visit to the coastal area of Uswetakeiyawa, on the outskirts of the capital Colombo, which is affected by debris washed up by the gate. -containers ravaged by fire X- Press Pearl, Prime Minister’s Office said.
During the inspection visit, the prime minister instructed officials to speed up the delivery of relief to affected fishermen, a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
In addition, the Prime Minister also instructed the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) to take all necessary measures to protect the marine environment.
A Sri Lankan Navy official told Xinhua that Sri Lankan Navy teams are still on site to put out the fire in the ship which is now confined to the stern of the ship.
The official said heavy smoke was still emanating from the ship and an explosion on the ship was reported early Saturday morning.
The vessel is registered under the Singapore flag and was carrying 1,486 containers containing 25 tons of nitric acid and several other chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on May 15.
The ship made a distress call while in the vicinity of Colombo port on May 20 and caught fire shortly thereafter. The Sri Lankan navy immediately dispatched ships to bring the fire under control.
Sri Lanka’s MEPA said on Friday that a major environmental disaster was expected following the ship’s fire and that its impact was being assessed.
MEPA chief executive Terney Pradeep said the southern coast line along the west coast had stranded debris and the public had been strongly advised not to touch any of the debris as it could contain hazardous material.
Minister of State for Urban Development, Coastal Conservation, Waste Disposal and Public Sanitation Nalaka Godahewa told media on Friday that much of the marine life had been killed in due to the pollution of the ship.
He said fish, turtles and other marine life had been killed and more such loss of life was expected over the next few days.
The Sri Lankan government has decided to pay some compensation to the fishing community which has to suspend its fishing activities and to those involved in related industries. Enditem