Indian hydrographic naval ship Sarvekshak has discovered a concentration of debris within three miles of the wreck of X-press Pearl that sank off the coast of Colombo in early June.
On Thursday, officials said that Sarvekshak arrived from India to aid Sri Lanka’s underwater survey programs around the gutted X-press Pearl to ensure the safety of navigation in that area.
Indian Navy officials have said that Sarvekshak has conducted concurrent surveys in three search areas. They also added that a significant amount of debris has been unearthed within three square miles of the shipwreck.
The survey is being carried out in collaboration with the Hydrographic Office, the National Aquatics Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA) and the country’s Navy.
The Singapore-flagged container vessel that had caught fire on May 20 had been carrying 1,486 chemical-loaded containers of which several fell into Sri Lankan waters before the fire had been doused following an India-Sri Lanka operation as part of the Operation Sagar Aaraksha 2. On June 2, the X-press Pearl sank.
Several national and international agencies have assessed that the chemical-laden containers that had fallen off the cargo ship could threaten the livelihood of the fisher community along the western coast of Sri Lanka. It could also impact the safety of navigation of marine traffic that has been operating via the Colombo port.
On June 20, the UN told that the container ship has resulted in significant damage to the environment by releasing hazardous substances.
The organization has also announced that a team of experts would be appointed to research the extent of the disaster and suggest the necessary follow-up measures to be undertaken.
A team of chemical and oil spill experts from the UN and also the European Union (EU) is collaborating with Sri Lankan officials and agencies to determine the impact of such a massive ecological disaster.
#OpSagarAaraksha2 Update#IndianNavy’s #INSSarvekshak undertaking concurrent survey in three search areas around #MVXpressPearl, finds concentration of debris within 3 square miles of the wreck#IndiaSriLankaCooperation #SriLankaNavy#MenatWork@DefenceMinIndia @IndiainSL pic.twitter.com/uTul4W2JNm
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) July 1, 2021