The Minister of the Environment of Peru, Rubén Ramírez, reported that an oil spill after the waves that caused the eruption of an underwater volcano in Polynesia, forced the closure of three beaches in Callao.
"There is serious damage to biodiversity... it can affect human health," explained Ramírez, while the Peruvian Prosecutor's Office announced an investigation.
The spill occurred at the facilities of the La Pampilla refinery, owned by the Spanish oil company Repsol, which reported a "limited spill" during the unloading of the Mare Doricum, an Italian-flagged ship, during violent waves on Saturday off the Peruvian coast.
Although the refinery assured in a statement that it "immediately activated its security protocols" and that "its brigades controlled the incident", yesterday the three beaches were full of crude oil and the media spoke of "oil waves".
According to the ministry, the Repsol subsidiary could face a $34,5 million fine.
Ramírez added that his portfolio “ordered that this area be isolated for all types of activity… We are concerned about the incident, because three beaches are already affected. There are approximately three kilometers of contamination.”
It should be noted that on January 2 Peru contained another oil spill, but on that occasion it was the Amazon that was affected by what the authorities described as an attack on an oil pipeline near Nueva Unida, in the municipality of Santa María de Nieva, in the province of Condorcanqui.