A Cyprus flagged vessel which remained in Sri Lankan waters since 2009 following a court order which prevented it from leaving sank on Thursday, raising concerns of environmental impact.
MV Thermopylae Sierra sank at sea close to the shores of Panadura just outside the capital, as the court case over the vessel continued in Sri Lanka.
According to the Disaster Management Centre around 70 Metric Tonnes of crude
oil had leaked into the ocean.
Several barrels of diesel have already contaminated ocean waters while a 100 metre wide 05 nautical mile long streak of crude could be witnessed spreading from the sunken vessel towards Colombo.
Minister of Environment Anura Priyadhrshana Yapa expressed the following views with concern to the environmental impact caused by the sunken vessel.
Meanwhile the Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre cautioned area residents occupying the coastal belt from Panadura to Uswatakeiyyawa to remain cautious concerning any possible contamination.
The 155-metre long and 127-metre wide ship was detained in Sri Lanka on a court order after a dispute involving the cargo and its crew.
The condition of the ship began deteriorating as it remained at sea without being maintained and subsequently it began taking in water.
Engineers onboard the ship had warned that some of the cargo still on the ship could harm marine life in the area.
However, the Sri Lankan Marine Environment Protection Authority said that most of the oil from the ship had been removed before the vessel sank so they did not expect a major environmental impact.