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This incident is the worst environmental crisis experienced by this Andean country in recent years.
On Wednesday, President Pedro Castillo's administration asked the Spanish company REPSOL to resolve the environmental damage from a massive oil spill that occurred at the Pampilla refinery, which is located in the Pacific Ocean, seven kilometers off from the Peruvian coast.
Referring to the accident that occurred amid high waves caused by the eruption of a volcano eruption near Tonga, Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez condemned the slow response of the company, which apparently did not have a contingency plan in case of spills at that refinery. Only 15 RESPOL workers showed up to help clean the disaster after the impacts of the spill were noticed in the Peruvian coasts.
She said REPSOL misled authorities when it spoke of a small spill and did not issue public warnings so that the coastal population could take protective actions such as avoiding entering the beaches.
Seabirds and the uniquely Peruvian Humboldt penguin count as the most affected fauna of an area rich in marine biodiversity, where three beaches have already been closed to the public. Therefore, local authorities are requesting support for rescue and save species.
El presidente @PedroCastilloTe sobrevoló la zona afectada por el derrame de petróleo. El sector Ambiente coordina acciones multisectoriales para atender y mitigar los daños ambientales en el litoral peruano, así como las acciones civiles indemnizatorias contra los responsables. pic.twitter.com/cdaLtgj9AB
The tweet reads: "President Pedro Castillo flew over the area affected by the oil spill. The Environment sector is coordinating multisectoral actions to address and mitigate environmental damages in the Peruvian coastline, as well as civil indemnification actions against those responsible."
According to images shown in social media, many local species like seabirds and the uniquely Peruvian Humboldt penguin count as the most affected fauna of the area. Three beaches have already cut access to general public, while local authorities call for a stronger support in order to rescue and save species. The area is highly appreciated for its marine biodiversity.
Environmental Minister Ruben Ramirez assured that REPSOL will be severely sanctioned for the delay and erroneous procedures in the management of the spill. He also requested adequate financial compensation from the company so as to recover the affected areas.
In an attempt to quickly resolve the effects of the oil spill, the Castillo administration formed a "crisis committee" in which the ministries of the environment, agriculture, defense, production, energy, and foreign affairs are involved.