The French government is sending assistance to Mauritius, in order to help the Indian Ocean island nation deal with a shipwrecked tanker that is now leaking oil into a protected marine area.
“When biodiversity is in danger, there is an urgent need to act. France is there,” said President Emmanuel Macron, who said teams and equipment from the overseas territory of Reunion Island will be deployed to manage the environmental catastrophe. They include a CASA CN-235 military aircraft with pollution control gear, as well as a French Navy liaison officer.
Macron’s response on Saturday came as Mauritius declared a state of emergency over the incident, and it followed a direct appeal from Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
“The sinking of the Wakashio represents a danger for Mauritius. Our country does not have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships, so I asked for help from France,” the prime minister said.