Peruvian President Pedro Castillo declared an environmental emergency on Thursday as clean-up teams struggled to contain a huge oil spill at the country’s biggest refinery after rogue waves rocked a ship unloading crude there.
The spill, blamed on unusual swells caused by a volcanic eruption thousands of miles away in Tonga on Sunday, has dirtied waters and beaches along Peru’s Pacific coast, with dead birds and seals washing up onshore.
“We are at a critical moment in environmental matters,” said Castillo, before signing the emergency decree on one of the beaches hit by the spill. “This is the most worrying ecological disaster on the Peruvian coast in recent times.”
The spill is estimated at being 6000 barrels of oil.