The weather, which is also fanning the oil slick further up the coast, is not forecast to improve until evening.
Some fuel has been removed but 2,500 tons still remains aboard, said Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, who warned cracks in the hull were worsening, and there was a very real chance the boat could split.
“We are in an advanced fracturing process. The bulk carrier does not have much time ahead of it,” said one scientist working on the emergency effort, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Divers have reported fresh cracks in the hull, while creaking sounds from the vessel could be heard from the southeast shore, where a major clean-up operation is underway to remove treacly sludge coating miles of Mauritius’ unspoiled coastline.
Japan on Monday dispatched a six-member team, including members of its coast guard, to assist. A French naval vessel with technical advisers aboard arrived Sunday from nearby Reunion, a French Indian Ocean island.