BY DR. IAN RALBY, DR. DAVID SOUD, AND ROHINI RALBY
A floating storage and offloading (FSO) terminal less than five miles off the coast of Yemen has turned into a massive bomb—capable of explosion due to its contents and lack of maintenance. The risk of explosion increases by the day, and if that were to happen, not only would it damage or sink any ships in the vicinity, but it would create an environmental crisis roughly four and a half times the size of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The consequences of that explosion and corresponding environmental devastation would likely be 1) to rupture the fragile aid-focused ceasefire in Hodeidah established under the December 2018 Stockholm Agreement; and 2) to accelerate the already dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen where roughly fourteen million people are on the brink of famine, surviving at the moment on international aid. There is nothing benign about this situation—even in a region with countless immediate needs, this matter is of the utmost urgency.
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