In Pictures: Waves from Tonga eruption cause oil spill in Peru
A black mass of crude oil stretches some 3km along Peru’s shoreline.
A worker cleans up an oil spill caused by the abnormal waves triggered by a massive underwater volcanic eruption half a world away in Tonga, one a beach in in Ventanilla, Peru. [Pilar Olivares/Reuters]
19 Jan 2022
Unusually high waves attributed to the eruption of an undersea volcano in Tonga have caused an oil spill on the Peruvian Pacific coast.
In a press release, the Peruvian Civil Defense Institute said a ship had been unloading oil at La Pampilla refinery on Sunday when strong waves pushed it, causing a spill.
Saturday’s eruption caused waves that crossed the Pacific. In Peru, two people drowned and there were reports of minor damage from New Zealand to the US state of California.
On Peru’s coast, a black mass of crude oil could be seen extending some 3km (1.9 miles) along the shoreline, affecting beaches in three coastal districts, causing marine contamination, and killing birds and ocean organisms.
“This is worrying because it is very difficult to remedy,” environment minister Ruben Ramirez said at a press conference.
The government did not say how much oil had spilled, only that local and federal authorities were working on the clean-up.
La Pampilla refinery, in the province of Callao near Lima’s capital, belongs to the Spanish company Repsol.
It is considered the main oil processing plant in Peru. Local authorities closed beaches in the area to the public from Sunday.
The National Emergency Operations Center said in a statement that the spill had been brought under control. [Pilar Olivares/Reuters]
Workers in protective gear begin cleaning up oil that washed ashore. [Pilar Olivares/Reuters]
In a press release, the Peruvian Civil Defense Institute said a ship had been unloading oil at La Pampilla refinery on Sunday when strong waves pushed it, causing a spill. [Martin Mejia/AP Photo]
A dead bird lies on a beach during a clean-up, following an oil spill caused by abnormal waves triggered by a massive underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga, in Ventanilla, Peru. [Pilar Olivares/Reuters]
Peruvian authorities sealed off three beaches on Monday after they were hit by an oil spill blamed on freak waves caused by the volcanic eruption in Tonga. [Martin Mejia/AP Photo]
A cyclist shows his oil-covered hands after stopping to put them into the polluted water on Cavero beach in Ventanilla, Callao. [Martin Mejia/AP Photo]
A worker cleans up an oil spill caused by abnormal waves on a beach in Ventanilla, Peru. [Pilar Olivares/Reuters]
Workers look at the oil in the waters of Cavero Beach in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru. [Martin Mejia/AP Photo]