World News: A giant container ship named MV Ever Given drifted across to get stuck and block the entire passage of Suez Canal, causing upcoming container ships on the way to wait indecisively. This accident happened on Tuesday and ever since then, the Canal authority and various other shipping solutions company are working to clear the block away from the passage.
In this article, we will explain what is the Suez Canal, why is it important and what is being done with the traffic jam.
What is Suez Canal?
The Suez Canal is a 193 kilometres (120 miles) long water passage crucial in shipping businesses as this passage connects Europe and Asia in a very short distance and time. The ship was originally built during the colonial times, by a group of French Investors when Egypt was under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
The construction of the Canal started from Port Said in Egypt’s Mediterranean Coast in 1859 and ended in 1869 via Suez City and Red Sea. Nearly 1.5 million workers have said to have been involved in constructing this Canal. When the construction ended, $50 million were spent to finish the project.
The Suez Canal was originally controlled by the British until 1956. Following withdrawal of forces from Egypt, the British agreed to handover the responsibility of Suez Canal to Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser. Gamal went on to nationalise the Suez Canal in the heat of politics and caused a major geopolitical problem for the world.
Israel, France and U.K deployed their forces to confront the situation first, but as it was during the height of the Cold War there were risks of U.S and U.S.S.R as well to get involved in the tensions. Misunderstandings were immediately settled and tensions were defused soon enough which could have ended up in war otherwise.
Why Suez Canal is important?
The Suez Canal, as I said earlier is very crucial in movement of goods with ships from Asia to Europe. If container vessels have to reach Europe from Asia and vice versa, they would have to cover a distance 8,900 kilometres, circumnavigate the entire continent of Africa via Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. This will take 8-10 days of time for the vessels.
The Suez Canal significantly slashes down distance of thousands of kilometres to just less than 200-kms and from days of time to just less than a day at 13-15 hours maximum. If ever there is such a blockage as now in the Suez Canal, vessels will have to take the hard route to Europe or Asia and causing cost of transportation with goods to go up as well.
What is being done there now (Suez Canal) ?
The container vessel named MV Ever Given, owned by a Japanese firm named Shoei Kisen KK and is currently operated by a Taiwan-based shipping firm Evergreen Marine Corp. It should be also noted that all of the ship’s crew members are actually Indians. The ship was carrying goods on its way from China to Europe.
The ship entered the passage at 7:40 A.M (Eastern European Time). As the ship entered the canal from Red Sea strong winds, possibly sandstorms of 74kms/hr. speed, blowed the ship’s tall containers apparently acted as sails, had caused the ship to drift and accidentally block the passage. As of now at least 15 other vessels are being anchored at the passage while waiting to get cleared.
The ship is 1,300 feet (400-metres) long just slightly longer than the Empire State Building.
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority were the first responders to call of emergency, multiple tug boats were deployed to pull the ship back to its place. A specialise marine dredger is also currently in deployment to excavate 2,000 cubic metres of sand particles to allow the ship freely float again.
Authorities say that nearly 39 to 52 feet of depths has to be created by excavating 15,000-20,000 cubic metres of sand and other particles to allow the ship float back again. Shipping solutions company from all over the world are also in ground to defuse the heating situation. Multiple vessels have been in a similar situation as this before.
As works to relieve the container ship are going in full-fledge, ship remaining static in the same place and with multiple other ships to come by the Canal in the upcoming days the internet just got its new template of memes from the crisis. The netizens use the new template of memes metaphorically with their own lives.