By Octavio Abea
Rough seas and strong winds near the wrecked cruise ship, Costa Concordia, suspended searches for survivors and fuel pumping operations Sunday off the coast of the Italian island Giglio.
The cruise ship, which hit a reef and capsized Jan. 13, moved an inch and a half over a six hour period suspending operations to search for survivors and pump the 500,000 gallons of fuel still on the ship, The Washington Post reports.
According to Reuters, a salvage contract for the cruise ship cannot be awarded until an environnmental disaster is averted, which means the fuel and lubricating oil must be removed.
The Washington Post reports that officials are reluctant to give out a final death toll even though they find it unlikely that anyone left has survived.
Salvaging and removing the ship could take up to a year, Civil protection Agency Chief Franco Gabrielli said. This means that the ship will be visible through the summer, which is their tourism season, Reuters reports.