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Peru Is Facing An Ecological Disaster After Tonga’s Volcanic Eruption Caused A Huge Oil Spill In The Sea

Peru is facing a massive ecological disaster after abnormal waves caused by the eruption of the underwater volcano near Tonga on Jan. 15 led to a massive oil spill along the country’s coast.
On Jan. 16, the Spanish oil company Repsol reported to authorities that one of their tankers had been by the tides caused by the volcanic eruption on Saturday.
peru repsol oil spill
Almost 12,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into the sea, affecting approximately 21 beaches and killing scores of wildlife.
peru clean up oil spill

Images online show cleaning crews in white protective gear moving along the black beaches and various animals such as birds, seagulls, sea lions and dolphins covered in oil.

“This is the worst ecological disaster that has occurred around Lima in recent times and has seriously damaged hundreds of fishermen’s families,” authoritiessaid on Twitter.

Authorities have declared a 90-day “environmental emergency” to help the local population and wildlife, and cleanup efforts are underway.
peru ecological disaster animal
Repsol has also issued a statement about its commitment to clean up the oil spill. However, it has come under fire for its lack of transparency and preparedness during the emergency.
peru oil spill tonga volcanic eruption ecological disaster
According to Peru’s environmental minister, an initial report by Repsol said that only 0.16 kilometers of coast had been affected and the company had “effectively” contained the spill.
peru oil spill cleaning crew
The company’s communication director also denied responsibility for the damages, adding that the spill was “limited.”
peru oil spill tonga volcanic eruption ecological disaster

“We did not cause this ecological disaster and we cannot say who is responsible,” she said on national radio.

The government has demanded Repsol pay for ecological damages, and prosecutors have opened an investigation into Repsol鈥檚 role in the incident.
peru oil spill toxic wildlife animal
Oil spills are extremely toxic for wildlife and clean up efforts aren’t 100% effective. Birds trapped in oil are unable to fly, and the oil strips fur-bearing mammals of their insulation, leaving them prone to hypothermia.
peru ecological disaster oil spill
Dangerous chemicals from oils can also stay in the ecosystem for decades.
 peru oil spill tonga volcanic eruption ecological disaster
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