Peru's government on Wednesday demanded compensation from Spanish oil company Repsol for damages caused by the spill of 6,000 barrels of crude oil on the country's coast, an oil spill attributed by the company to the swell caused by the eruption. volcano in Tonga.
“The Repsol oil spill in Ventanilla is the worst ecological disaster that has occurred in Lima in recent years and it has caused serious harm to hundreds of fishing families ,” the Foreign Ministry said on Twitter. .
"Repsol must pay for this damage immediately", adds the ministry, according to which "this terrible situation has endangered the flora and fauna in two protected natural areas", and polluted beaches.
At least 18,000 square meters are affected, according to authorities.
The oil spill occurred on Saturday at the La Pampilla refinery in Ventanilla, in the Lima region. According to the refinery, the accident occurred during the process of unloading crude from a tanker due to heavy swells off the Peruvian coast on Saturday linked to the volcanic eruption in Tonga.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the company reaffirmed that it was "carrying out shoreline restoration and beach clean-up work after the high tide situation recorded due to the volcanic eruption in Tonga." .
“Containment barriers have been deployed surrounding all affected areas, as well as specialized teams on sea and on land,” adds the refinery.
On Tuesday, Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez estimated the amount of oil spilled at 6,000 barrels of oil.
The company had first mentioned a "limited spill" , indicating to the prosecution that the quantity of crude concerned did not exceed 7 gallons, or 0.16 barrels.
The regulatory body for Energy and Mines (Osinergmin) announced on Tuesday evening that it had ordered "the suspension of operations" in the oil terminal concerned "time to determine the causes of the oil spill" .
The Tonga Islands suffered a devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami on Saturday, with waves up to 15 meters high.
The volcanic eruption, heard as far away as Alaska (USA), located more than 9,000 km away, was the largest recorded in decades -a huge mushroom of smoke 30 km high, which dispersed ash, gas and acid rain on the 170 islands of the archipelago.