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Sri Lanka braces for environmental disaster as ship sinks

The fire stricken Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl (L) is seen sinking while being towed away from the coast of Colombo on June 2, 2021 following Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's order to move the ship to deeper water to prevent a bigger enviromental disaster. A fire broke out on a Singapore-flagged container vessel MV X-Press Pearl anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18km) northwest of Colombo awaiting entry into the port nine days ago. The Sri Lanka Navy said an explosion caused by the chemicals being transported on the ship, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid and other chemicals loaded at the port of Hazira, India on 15 May. The 25-member crew including Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals were evacuated by the Navy on 25 May, while two injured members were hospitalized and one was tested positive for Covid-19 on 26 May. AFP
The fire stricken Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl (L) is seen sinking while being towed away from the coast of Colombo on June 2, 2021 following Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's order to move the ship to deeper water to prevent a bigger enviromental disaster. A fire broke out on a Singapore-flagged container vessel MV X-Press Pearl anchored about 9.5 nautical miles (18km) northwest of Colombo awaiting entry into the port nine days ago. The Sri Lanka Navy said an explosion caused by the chemicals being transported on the ship, including 25 tonnes of nitric acid and other chemicals loaded at the port of Hazira, India on 15 May. The 25-member crew including Philippine, Chinese, Indian and Russian nationals were evacuated by the Navy on 25 May, while two injured members were hospitalized and one was tested positive for Covid-19 on 26 May. AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by the Sri Lanka Air Force on May 26, 2021 shows thick  smoke billowing from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the seventh consecutive day, in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour. AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by the Sri Lanka Air Force on May 26, 2021 shows thick smoke billowing from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the seventh consecutive day, in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour. AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by the Sri Lanka Air Force on May 30, 2021 shows smoke billowing from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eleventh consecutive day as vessels try to douse off the fire, in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, in Colombo. AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by the Sri Lanka Air Force on May 30, 2021 shows smoke billowing from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eleventh consecutive day as vessels try to douse off the fire, in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, in Colombo. AFP
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
Smoke rises from a fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl vessel as it sinks while being towed into deep sea off the Colombo Harbour, in Sri Lanka June 2, 2021. REUTERS
A burnt container washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl (in background), which has been burning for the seventh consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, is seen on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021.  AFP
A burnt container washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl (in background), which has been burning for the seventh consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, is seen on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021. AFP
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers try to remove damaged containers on the burning cargo vessel MV X-Press Pearl, washed ashore off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 30 May 2021. EPA
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers try to remove damaged containers on the burning cargo vessel MV X-Press Pearl, washed ashore off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, 30 May 2021. EPA
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eighth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021. AFP
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eighth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021. AFP
Sri Lankans salvage wreck washed off to the shore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. A fire on a container ship carrying chemicals raged off Sri Lanka for a sixth day Wednesday and India sent vessels to help douse the blaze, officials said. AP
Sri Lankans salvage wreck washed off to the shore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. A fire on a container ship carrying chemicals raged off Sri Lanka for a sixth day Wednesday and India sent vessels to help douse the blaze, officials said. AP
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eighth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021. AFP
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the eighth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 27, 2021. AFP


Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the ninth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 28, 2021. AFP
Sri Lankan Navy soldiers work to remove debris washed ashore from the Singapore-registered container ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has been burning for the ninth consecutive day in the sea off Sri Lanka's Colombo Harbour, on a beach in Colombo on May 28, 2021. AFP
A crab roams on a beach polluted with polythene pellets that washed ashore from burning ship MV X-Press Pearl anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, May 31, 2021. The fire on the Singapore-flagged ship has been burning since May 20, ravaging the ship. Debris from the burning ship that has washed ashore is causing severe pollution on beaches. AP
A crab roams on a beach polluted with polythene pellets that washed ashore from burning ship MV X-Press Pearl anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, May 31, 2021. The fire on the Singapore-flagged ship has been burning since May 20, ravaging the ship. Debris from the burning ship that has washed ashore is causing severe pollution on beaches. AP
Sri Lankan navy soldiers clad in protective suits attempt to evade a wave drifting debris ashore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 27, 2021. AP
Sri Lankan navy soldiers clad in protective suits attempt to evade a wave drifting debris ashore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 27, 2021. AP
A Sri Lankan navy soldier pauses a while as he hauls debris washed ashore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 27, 2021. AP
A Sri Lankan navy soldier pauses a while as he hauls debris washed ashore from the burning Singaporean ship MV X-Press Pearl which is anchored off Colombo port at Kapungoda, out skirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 27, 2021. AP
Sri Lankan fishermen hold a fishing net with plastic fiber clinging on it due to materials polluting the sea from the fire ravaged MV X-Press Pearl which is now sinking off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
Sri Lankan fishermen hold a fishing net with plastic fiber clinging on it due to materials polluting the sea from the fire ravaged MV X-Press Pearl which is now sinking off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
Sri Lanka Navy personnel, wearing protective gear, clear the beach from debris and other materials that washed ashore from the crippled container cargo vessel  MV X-Press Pearl, on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
Sri Lanka Navy personnel, wearing protective gear, clear the beach from debris and other materials that washed ashore from the crippled container cargo vessel MV X-Press Pearl, on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
A man holds a dead fish with a mouth filled with granules of plastic raw materials from the burnt ship MV X-Press Pearl on the beach of Colombo, Sri Lanka, May, 31, 2021. EPA
A man holds a dead fish with a mouth filled with granules of plastic raw materials from the burnt ship MV X-Press Pearl on the beach of Colombo, Sri Lanka, May, 31, 2021. EPA
Sri Lanka Navy personnel, wearing protective gear, clear the beach from debris and other materials that washed ashore from the crippled container cargo vessel  MV X-Press Pearl, on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
Sri Lanka Navy personnel, wearing protective gear, clear the beach from debris and other materials that washed ashore from the crippled container cargo vessel MV X-Press Pearl, on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
A dead bloated fish, presumably belonging to the Tetraodontidae family, lies washed ashore amid granules of plastic raw materials from the burnt ship MV X-Press Pearl on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
A dead bloated fish, presumably belonging to the Tetraodontidae family, lies washed ashore amid granules of plastic raw materials from the burnt ship MV X-Press Pearl on the beach of Negombo, north-west of Colombo, Sri Lanka, June, 2, 2021. EPA
Shim Hyun-chul shim@koreatimes.co.kr


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