Tonga: the serious oil spill off the coast of Peru due to the eruption of the volcano in the island nation


It was described by the authorities as an “ecological disaster”.

An oil spill occurred off the central coast of Peru after a ship supplying the La Pampilla refinery was hit by waves caused by the eruption of an underground volcano in Tonga.

The authorities closed three beaches affected by the more than 6,000 gallons spilled in the province of Callao. Dozens of animals have died to cause of incident.

The “anomalous waves” also caused the death of two women who drowned on the beach known as Naylamp, in the province of Chiclayo, in the north of the country, according to police reports.


Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the company that manages the refinery, the Spanish Repsol, to pay compensation for the damage.

“The Repsol oil spill in Ventanilla is the worst ecological disaster that has occurred in Lima in recent times, and has caused serious damage to hundreds of fishermen’s families. Repsol must compensate this damage immediately,” reads a tweet on the official account of the Peruvian Foreign Ministry.

Authorities say the leak damaged some 18,000 square kilometers of protected areas containing a variety of plants and animals.

Getty Images

“This terrible situation has endangered the flora and fauna in two protected natural areas of more than 18,000 square kilometers, such as the National Reserve of the System of Islands, Islets and Puntas Guaneras, Islotes de Pescadores and the Ancón Reserved Zone,” the ministry added. .

Meanwhile, the company’s communications director, Tine Van Den Wall Bake, denied that they were responsible for the leak on Wednesday during an interview. He also said that the spill was “limited.”

“We did not cause this ecological disaster,” he said on the Peruvian radio station RPP.

He added that the Peruvian Navy told the company that there was no tsunami alert for the coast and that they could continue unloading the crude.

But the president of the Council of Ministers, Mirtha Vásquez, commented that the company “apparently” did not have a contingency plan to deal with a large-scale oil spill.

start an investigation

The Peruvian prosecutor’s office announced that it will begin an investigation into Repsol’s role in the incident.

For its part, the Ministry of the Environment indicated that the Spanish energy giant could face fines of more than US$34,5 million.

The government gave the company ten days to collect the crude.

Groups of people work to clean up the oil spill off the Peruvian coast.

Getty Images
The government is leading a cleanup initiative on some three kilometers of beach.

Peru’s energy regulator Osinergmin said in a statement that it has ordered the closure of one of the refinery’s four terminals until the causes of the spill are determined.

The government is also cleaning up some three kilometers of beaches.

La Pampilla is built near the city of Ventanilla in the Lima Region and is the largest refinery in Peru. It supplies more than half of the local fuel market.

volcano in tonga

An eruption of the submarine volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai on Saturday triggered powerful waves in the South Pacific, putting several countries, including the United States, Japan and Chile, on alert.

A bird covered in oil off the coast of Peru.

Getty Images
Authorities fear that protected species have suffered significant damage.

The eruption caused waves of more than a meter in Tonga, an island nation made up of 170 islands spread over some 700,000 square kilometers.

So far, three deaths have been confirmed in Tonga, in addition to the two in Peru. But photographs taken by the New Zealand Air Force show a completely destroyed village.

The Tonga government said some of the smaller outlying islands are particularly hard hit, with all houses destroyed on one of the islands.

The ashes that cover the territory hinder the arrival of supplies from neighboring countries, since they affect the visibility of the planes. Drinking water is particularly lacking on the site.

Now you can receive notifications from BBC World. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.

Comments are closed.