A UN official has sounded the alarm on a possible humanitarian and environmental emergency arising from an abandoned Yemeni supertanker, which is supposed to be carrying more than 1 million barrels of oil and is in danger of exploding or sinking at any moment.
The FSO Safer tank has been derelict since 2015 when the kingdom descended into civil war. It’s now on the brink of collapse.
Nature Sustainability predicted that it would take two to three weeks for an oil spill to reach Djibouti, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia if it happens and no action is taken.
This would wreak havoc on food aid for 6 million citizens in Yemen and disrupt access to gasoline-powered pumps and vehicles used for transporting fresh water for 8 million people.
Additionally, it could shut down desalination plants near coastal towns, leaving 2 million people without access to water. Coastal mangrove forests, as well as healthy coral reefs, would also be destroyed or damaged by spillage.
Moreover, Nature Sustainability highlighted that a potential oil spill could devastate Yemen’s Red Sea fishing stock in just three weeks, severely impacting millions of inhabitants living along the coast who rely upon the ocean for their sustenance.
Dr. Hisham Nagi from Sana’a University additionally warned that a major spill could have catastrophic effects on the coral reef ecosystem, with many marine organisms close to where the tanker is situated.
Reference: Arab News, Firstpost
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