For four years, the giant oil tanker FSO Safer has been rotting in the Red Sea. The photographs show that the condition of the abandoned ship continues to deteriorate, increasing the risk of the ship’s cargo leaking into the sea. In this case, it can have huge consequences.
FSO Safer is loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. The Gulf of Alaska has four times more oil than the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, which is considered the worst oil spill ever.
whole area affected
Experts have long sounded the alarm about the consequences of a possible leak in the Red Sea, but it now turns out that the extent may be worse than previously thought.
A recent report states that the leakage of FSO Safer will leave 8 million people in the region waterless. Also, the entire Yemeni commercial fish stock could be depleted in just three weeks, according to Nature Sustainability. The consequences will affect not only Yemen. Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Djibouti will also be affected by one of the worst environmental disasters of modern times.
controlled by rebels
The United Nations has been trying to get rid of dangerous cargo for a long time, so far with no success. The area is controlled by the rebels, and despite repeated talks between the rebels, the UN and Yemeni officials, the UN has not been allowed to board the ship. The rebels demand a guarantee that the ship will be repaired, but the United Nations does not currently have the funds to enforce it, writes Guardian.
A possible leak would cause more central port cities in Yemen, such as Salif and Hodeidah, to close their ports. This in turn could lead to a national fuel crisis in the country, and is expected to increase prices by up to 80 per cent.
Nature Sustainability states that even if half of the oil spill evaporates within a day, the remaining volume will reach Yemen’s coastline within a week. This in turn would cause several million people to suffer from food shortages in a country that is already suffering from one of the world’s most severe famines.
The possibility of leakage is increasing continuously. The apparently dilapidated FSO Safe has only a single hull, meaning any leak will flow directly into the ocean, warns Nature Sustainability.
The report points out that a number of factors can cause a leak in a rapidly ruptured vessel, and calls on the United Nations to act before it is too late.
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