Thursday, February 25, 2016

100 injured and 4,500 affected by oil spills in Peruvian Amazon

A hundred wounded and 4,500 people affected is the balance of the two oil spills occurred in the Amazon of Peru one month after the first of these leaks was recorded by Oil Pipeline Norperuano, according to emergency reports updated today by the Institute of Civil Defense ( Indeci).

100 people injured are concentrated in the municipality of Imaza, located in the Amazonas region in northern Peru, where a ruptured pipeline occurred on 25 January poured between 2,000 and 3,000 barrels of oil, part of which polluted the Inayo rivers and Chiriaco, where native fish communities in the area. The report indicated that the hundred injured are people whose health was affected by “various diagnoses, mostly headaches” resulting from inhalation of the strong odor emanating crude. 

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Among the wounded a 12-year-old participated in the work of collecting oil spill and told local media that the state company Petroperu operates the pipeline, he get paid two soles (0.57 dollars) for each bucket of hydrocarbon collected. Petroperu announced Tuesday in a statement that took care of the child, who was transferred to the city of Piura, on Peru’s northern coast, to perform a comprehensive evaluation.

 The company, which initially refused the employment of children in the work to remedy the environmental impact, recently opened an investigation to determine whether children actually paid for collecting oil. Those affected by the spill in the municipality of Imaza reach 2,000 people, mostly owners of thirty hectares of crops were “destroyed” by the oil. The remaining 2,500 affected are in the municipality of Morona, in the Loreto region (northeast), where another break Pipeline Norperuano occurred on February 3 poured into the environment of an undetermined amount of oil that also polluted rivers in that area, including the Mayuriaga and Morona. Petroperu was punished with a fine of 12.64 million soles (about 3.59 million dollars) imposed by the Supervisory Agency for Investment in Energy and Mining (Osinergmin) for failing to maintain the integrity of the pipeline. 

The Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, warned that the state company can also be fined up to 60 million soles (about 17.2 million dollars) for environmental damage. Norperuano Pipeline transports oil extracted in the Peruvian jungle to the port terminal Bayóvar in the Pacific Ocean, along a route of 854 kilometers of pipeline in which there are five collection stations that can store up to 3.5 million barrels together. Source: America Energia

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