Probe Initiated Into Oil Spill off Peru’s Coast

The oil spill was near the seaside city of Ventanilla, which is near Lima; the capital of Peru. More than two kilometers of Peru's central coast along with two beaches were tainted by the oil spill. The source of the oil spill is reported to be the oil tanker Mare Doricum, which was rocked by violent waves while unloading crude oil at the La Pampilla refinery. The waves originated from a volcanic eruption and the subsequent tsunami that took place almost 11,000 kilometers away in Tonga. A probe has been launched into the event by Peruvian prosecutors. The fines could reach up to $33 million for the environmental damage if the guilty party was identified.

There has been significant environmental contamination, causing death of birds and ocean microorganisms. Peru's environmental authority has been forced to cordon off two beaches and a National Natural Reserve. Cleaning efforts are on a war footing. The Environmental Minister has given two days to the La Pampilla refinery to identify critical points and clear the oil within 10 days. Meanwhile, fingers are being pointed all around as to who is responsible for the mishap. The parent company of the refinery; Repsol and the owner of the oil terminal where the cargo was being unloaded; Petrobras have issued no statement. The navy is primarily being criticized for failing to issue a Tsunami warning, endangering the lives of fishermen, and potentially being responsible for the mishap.

Read Maritime News New Zealand Sends Ships With Supplies to Vulcano-Hit Tonga.

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