The Suez Canal, unarguably one of the most important waterways in the Mediterranean region, is blocked. And while one's bemused mind might immediately go to drainage issues or a new construction in the area, the truth is unfortunately far stranger than fiction. The Suez Canal is blocked by a ship. One that has one that has now caused a traffic jam of vessels.
The artificial sea level waterway that connects the the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and shipping lanes to Asia has been brought down by the Ever Given, a 400m-long and 59m-wide container ship. Initial efforts to undo the damage have failed and there are some fears that it could remain stuck for days. The company, Evergreen Marine Corp says that the container ran aground after being hit by a "suspected gust of wind".
As per a report by The Guardian, several attempts to refloat the ultra large container ship have already failed. Nonetheless, as one Twitter put it, "every tug Egypt could spare appear to be trying to pull it free". Visuals that have surfaced show the vessel sitting calmly in the water, not budging in the slightest.
Pictures taken from another ship in the canal, the Maersk Denver were posted online by Instagram user Julianne Cona and shows the vessel lodged sideways.
But while the Ever Given waits to be extricated from it's strange conundrum, experts (and Tweeple) fear that this could have massive trade and consequently financial ramifications. The blocking of the vital international trade artery also meant that other vessels were trapped on either side.
"A mega containership called Ever Given got stuck in the southern end of the Suez Canal and has now blocked off a lot of fully-laden tankers from traversing in either direction. Tankers carrying Saudi, Russian, Omani and US oil are waiting on both ends," tweeted trade monitor TankerTrackers.com.