The amount of crude oil spilled into the sea in Peru was double what had been reported so far, the government announced on Friday, hours after the court banned four directors of the Spanish oil company Repsol from leaving the country for 18 months.
“We have a number so far of 11,900 barrels” dumped into the sea on January 15, instead of the six thousand reported so far, Environment Minister Rubén Ramírez said at a press conference.
The spill, described as an “ecological disaster” by the Peruvian government, occurred while the Italian-flagged tanker “Mare Doricum” was unloading at the La Pampilla refinery in Ventanilla, 30 kilometers (km) north of Lima, owned by from Repsol. The company attributed the accident to waves caused by the volcanic eruption in Tonga.
Meanwhile, the Vice Minister of the Environment, Alfredo Mamani, confirmed that “the new estimate is 11,900 barrels, as the minister said.”
The black oil stain has been dragged by sea currents about 140 km north of the refinery, according to the prosecution, causing the death of an undetermined number of fish and seabirds.
What’s more, put hundreds of artisanal fishermen out of work, which have staged protests against the Spanish company.
“To date there are already 4,225 barrels recovered” from the sea and beaches, just over a third of the total, explained Vice Minister Mamani.