The Peruvian government on Saturday declared a 90-day “environmental emergency” in damaged coastal areas, following an oil spill that spilled 6,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea.
Peruvian authorities say this measure will allow for “sustainable management of the affected areas” through “restoration and rehabilitation works.”
Rescuers in white biosecurity suits use shovels to remove the oily sand, which is then shipped to toxic waste sites.
How did it expire?
The oil spill came from a tanker belonging to the Spanish energy company Repsol. The incident happened in the La Pampilla refinery, about 30 kilometers north of the Peruvian capital Lima in the Ventanilla district of the port city of Callao.
According to the refinery, the spill was caused by unusual waves created by the eruption of a volcano in Tonga.
The Italian-flagged tanker “Mare Doricum” was transporting 965,000 barrels of crude oil at the time of the collision.
Currents spread the oil more than 40 kilometers away from the refinery and tarred about 21 beaches, according to Peru’s Health Ministry. The ministry recommends avoiding those areas classified as “unhealthy”.
What damage did the burial cause?
The spill has caused the deaths of marine life and has raised concerns about the livelihoods of local fishermen and the economic impact of lost tourism.
Repsol said 2,384 cubic meters (84,190 cu ft) of sand was affected by the spill. The company said it had organized more than 1,350 people for the cleanup and plans to add 224 more.
On Wednesday, Peru asked Repsol to compensate for the damage caused by the oil spill.
Peruvian judicial authorities said they were investigating the spill as a possible pollution crime.
Repsol said it was not responsible for the spill because Peru’s maritime authorities did not issue any warnings about a possible increase in waves.
sdi/fb (AP, AFP, day after tomorrow, EFE)