Suez Canal resumes traffic: official

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Photo/Ahmed Gomaa (Xinhua)

The traffic in Suez Canal resumed after massive container ship Ever Given has been successfully refloated as being stranded in the canal for almost a week, Egypt's Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said on Monday.

Xinhua correspondent on-site witnessed that the cargo ship was centered in the canal and is navigating to the north. Other ships are moving subsequently while honked their whistle.

Leth Agencies, the SCA's service provider, confirmed that the mega-ship is currently sailing north on its way to the Bitter Lakes in the canal.

Mohab Mamish, Egypt's President adviser for the Suez Canal projects and former SCA's chairman, told state-TV that "traffic in the canal restarted today, and a group of the stranded ships is sailing."

"The canal is now completely open for traffic, as the Panama-flagged ship has moved," Mamish said, adding the SCA will increase the number of the working hours to move the vessels quickly.

The ship will undergo three days technical check before receiving the certification of moving to its original destination in Rotterdam, Mamish said.

Reasons of the crisis in the process of analyzing and the results to be announced soon, explaining the re-float process was carried off based on scientific accurate studies.

"A total of 13 tug boats and two dredges belonging to the SCA took part in the rescue work of the ship," said SCA chairman Osama Rabie.

The rising tide helping the tugging and pushing efforts of the ship, he added.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi thanked "Egyptians who contributed technically and practically to ending the crisis of the Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal."

The SCA chief sent a message of reassurance to the international maritime community that "navigation in the canal resumed."

The 224,000-ton container has been stuck and blocking the vital waterway since Tuesday last week after it lost the ability to steer amid massive winds and a sandstorm.

The incident caused a temporary suspension of navigation in the man-made canal, keeping at least 321 ships in wait.

Linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, the Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.

Some 12 percent of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal. 

 

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Editor: Lan Suying