Saturday’s environmental emergency declaration by Peru was made by the Peruvian government to address a spillage caused in part by freak waves from a volcano eruption in the South Pacific.
Last Saturday, tsunami waves swept the United States due to a powerful eruption at an undersea volcanic volcano near Tonga.
Because of the oil spillage near Lima, beaches were polluted and birds were killed. Tourism has also been adversely affected.
Also read: Peru demands compensation to oil spill damage. Aerial images show extent of devastation| Peru demands compensation for oil spill damage, aerial images show extent of devastation
Lima Zoo in Peru is trying save dozens of seabirds including protected penguins.
Parque de Las Leyendas Zoo has saved more than 40 birds from beaches and nature reserves that were polluted, including Humboldt penguins. These penguins are listed as vulnerable by International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Biologist Liseth Bermudez says birds’ fate is unclear.
“We are doing our best. It is not a common occurrence. We are doing our best.”
The birds are being cared for by veterinarians who use special detergents to wash away the oil.
The government issued a decree lasting 90 days. The government has also issued a 90-day decree.
According to the environment ministry it aims to improve the organization of agencies or teams working after a disaster.
Three tiny islands have borne the brunt of Tongas tsunami| Three tiny islands have borne the brunt of Tongas tsunami
According to the environment ministry, the emergency decree was issued because crude oil in the water was still at a distance of 40 km (25 miles) from the spot where the spillage occurred.
The report stated that the spillage “represents a sudden event with significant impact on coastal marine ecosystems, which have major biological diversity.”
Roberto Sanchez (the foreign trade and tourism minister) estimated that there were more than $50,000,000 in economic losses across all sectors.
According to the environment ministry the spillage caused damage to 174 hectares of beach, or 270 football pitches, and 713 hectares in the sea. This was due to sea currents spreading the spilt oil along coastal coasts.
The cleanup crew has been working to clean up the spillage for several days.
Guillermo Ramos, Peruvian biologist, of the Serfor forest service, stated that more animals will die if the oil spreads.
He said, “There are species that feed on fish that are already contaminated”
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Repsol, a Spanish energy giant, is being sued by the government for damages.
Repsol claims the spillage was caused by freak waves from the eruption. Repsol also claimed that the spillage is not its fault as there were no warnings by the government about rough waters following the blast.
Repsol announced Saturday that 1,350 people had been involved in the cleanup, which included big-rig trucks as well as skimmers and floating containment barriers.
Repsol stated that it is “deploying every effort to attend to the remediation” of the spillage.
(With inputs of agencies)