|The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi burned for more than a week in the East China Sea before sinking on Sunday. / Reuters|
By Jung Min-ho
Polluted waters from the sinking of an Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea may reach Jeju Island in one month, according to Britain's National Oceanography Centre.
The Panama-registered Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil ― about one million barrels ― from Iran before colliding with Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter the CF Crystal on Jan. 6.
The 32 crew died and the fire burned for more than a week. But the story does not end there.
The polluted waters have spread to other regions since. A new simulation from the research center shows pollution will likely reach the island and Japan within a month ― a major threat to sensitive marine ecosystems.
According to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, the oil spill could become the world's worst in 35 years.
But the fate of the leaking oil is still uncertain. It could burn or evaporate before reaching the island.