Ship blocks Suez Canal after running aground in sandstorm
Context: The Suez Canal, a critical shipping artery that connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas through Egypt, has been blocked after a large cargo ship ran aground while passing through it on Tuesday, bringing traffic on the busy trade route to a halt.
- Tug boats worked Wednesday to free a giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal after it veered off course in a sandstorm, creating huge tailbacks on one of the world’s busiest trade routes.
- Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) was working to refloat the Taiwan-run but Panama-flagged MV Ever Given, a 400-metre-long and 59-metre wide vessel, which was lodged at an angle across the waterway.
- Egypt, which heavily depends on revenues from the canal, is now diverting ships to an older channel to minimise disruption to global trade.
About Suez Canal:
- A human-made waterway, the Suez Canal is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12% of world trade by volume.
- Built in 1869, it provides a major shortcut for ships moving between Europe and Asia, who before its construction had to sail around Africa to complete the same journey.