The insurers of Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl ship have agreed to pay an additional $2.5 million in a few days as compensation for the massive ecological damage caused. The information was shared by Dharshani Lahandapura who is the chair of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA).
She added that the sum is paid to cover expenses that were incurred by the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and Marine Environment Protection Authority from 3 June up to 31 August. This meant expenses to clean the once-pristine coastal belt, reportedly polluted after the container vessel caught on fire and eventually drowned.
Even though the cost of the cleanup was $3.9 million, the vessel’s insurance agent approved $2.5 million, the Chair reportedly said. She also mentioned that additional confirmation documents were required to get the pending amount.
The Chair had earlier said that $3.6 million was received to control the fire on MV X-Press Pearl and the extensive ecological damage it had caused.
Ms. Lahandapura also stated that the insurance company responded favorably to the compensation request put forward by the Fisheries Department for covering both indirect and direct losses that impacted the fishermen due to fire, stating that the compensation will be accessible in due time.
The Singapore-registered container ship X-Press Pearl was loaded with hazardous cargo. It caught fire this year, on 20 May, while at an anchorage near Colombo Harbor owing to a chemical leak in one of its containers. It kept burning for almost two weeks before the fire was finally put out on 2 June. The ship sank afterward. Due to the extensive environmental damage, fishing from Panadura to Negombo was prohibited.