Tresta Star grounding: Damage and spill aggravated by cyclonic giant swell off La Reunion Island

Thierry Sluys

The flow of the 2007 eruption of Piton de La Fournaise is still making the headlines.

Extreme winds from cyclone Batsirai grounded a ship named Tresta Star on the sea entry site of the 2007 Piton de La Fournaise lava flow on February 3, 2022.

Cyclone Emnati is approaching the island as two fuel slicks have been spotted around the Mauritian ship.

Here some first images of the volcano as Emnati passes by: Ephemeral waterfalls, giant rivers along the slopes of the volcano:

As announced yesterday by the prefect, the FAZSOI helicopter carried out this morning a surveillance mission of the oil spill flowing from the vessel Tresta Star.

The slick extends over a surface 50 m (164 feet) wide and 2.5 km (1.55 miles) long in the area of ​​the 2007 flow to Tremblet beach. This pollution always appears as a streak of brown-colored water, symptomatic of an oily substance emulsified with seawater.

Following the degraded weather conditions in the area, the vessel has been significantly damaged since the observations made yesterday.

Thierry Sluys

The breach located on the port side of the ship and exposed to the swell has widened considerably and parts of the hull have been torn off, revealing a gaping hole several meters through which the swelling sea can rush inside the ship.

We can now fear an imminent dislocation of the Tresta Star, with pieces of the ship which will detach to sink on the spot or come to ground on the coast. New discharges of oily water will continue in the next 3 days.

A video from the Piton de la Fournaise eruption of 2007:

Pollution control operations at sea (Polmar Sea plan) will be initiated as soon as weather conditions allow (after cyclone EMNATI). The means of intervention from the shore (Polmar Terre plan) are ready to be deployed.

The current deterioration of the situation led the prefect to renew his formal notice to the shipowner to take all measures to stop the pollution and repair the environmental damage caused by the pollution. [Reunion Gouv., Earth of fire]

Related: Best home water filter around

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