Mauritius

Ocean Pollution Bulletin on the Wakashio oil spill accident - Mauritius (23 Aug 2020)

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Situation Report
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DISCLAIMER - The information and views set out in this Bulletin are those of the authors (CMCC Foundation and cmcc srl) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the governments of the area. CMCC Foundation and cmcc srl do not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this study. Neither the CMCC Foundation, cmcc srl nor any person acting on the author's behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Contact point: Giovanni Coppini; email giovanni.coppini@cmcc.it; phone: +39 3923857919

Highlights

MEDSLIK-II model, forced with ECMWF and CMEMS products, was used to reproduce the Wakashio spill event and predict its development in the coming hours (29/08/2020 12:00 UTC).

Spill evolution forecast to the 29th of August 2020

Field information, combined with satellite observations, indicate that the Wakashio spill came to a halt on the 16/08. The following spill evolution forecast assumes that further leakages did not take place at the wreck. The analysis is therefore focused on potential oil detachments from impacted areas and movements within and outside the reef.

In the next 24h (23/08 12:00 to 24/08 12:00), part of the beached oil found in the Vieux Grand Port and Bois des Amourettes areas could detach and travel south towards Mahebourg. After the 24th of August, dominant meteo-oceanographic conditions could potentially transport oil beached at the northern portion of the reef entrance towards southern parts of the embayment.

Oil beached at the reef, in the surroundings of the Wakashio wreck, is expected to remain beached for the next 72h (until 26/08 12:00 UTC). Changes in the meteo-oceanographic conditions starting on the 26th are expected to result in significant detachment and transport of beached oil, currently found on the reef, towards SW.

Uncertainties in the present report are expected as deployed booms are not taken into consideration and meteo-oceanographic models might not be capable to fully resolve the coastal dynamics.