Greenpeace warns the worst oil spill in history could happen very soon

Abandoned for more than 45 years, a tanker carrying more than 1.1 million barrels of oil is threatening to disintegrate in the Red Sea.

Off the coast of Yemen, a rusty 45-year-old oil tanker is posing a serious threat to the environment. It contains more than 1.1 million barrels of oil and could be the cause of the worst oil spill ever known, according to a Greenpeace statement.

A double-edged crisis

Left abandoned for seven years, the FSO SAFER, as it is known, seems to be deteriorating faster than expected. This vestige of a civil war is anchored six kilometres off the port of Hodeida and Salif would be the new worst disaster of its kind in history.

According to the NGO report, the disaster could be a humanitarian tragedy beyond the massive pollution caused. As the tanker was close to the main humanitarian supply port, human and material aid was estimated at 68% of total aid, affecting 8.4 million people daily.

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Who is responsible for this environmental disaster?

But who bears the political responsibility for this disaster in the making? With the tanker off the Yemeni coast, who is responsible for this future environmental disaster? Some plants responsible for purifying the seawater could be affected, depriving ten million citizens of drinking water. In addition, the coastal town relies on fishing, and would become impossible if the tanker leaks.

According to the UN, the civil war has caused some 377,000 direct and indirect victims of the fighting, including lack of drinking water, disease, malnutrition, and famine.

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