Corrosion experts say the wrecks could collapse, releasing any fuel inside them, within 10 to 15 years. But no-one knows how much fuel they contain because records from the period are scarce. It is known, however, that three of the wrecks are oil tankers, with a total capacity of 32 million litres.
The tankers’ hulls cannot withstand the corrosive saltwater forever. According to New Scientist magazine, the scale of the probem could be huge. A study published in 2006 found 380 tanker wrecks across the bottom of the Pacific.
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