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Ministry of Health declares sanitation emergency for oil spills

Hillary Ojeda

Since two oil spills have affected local Amazon populations, the water has been contaminated by harmful substances.

Ministry of Health declares sanitation emergency for oil spills

Ministry of Health declared a water quality state of emergency. (Photo: Peru21/EFE)

The Ministry of Health declared a water quality emergency after two oil spills in the Amazonas and Loreto regions of Peru have contaminated water resources for local populations.

The oil released from two breaches in the Northern Peruvian Pipeline operated by the state oil firm Petroperu has stretched through multiple districts.

The emergency extends to the Imaza district in the Bagua province in the Amazonas, and in the Morona, Manseriche, Barranca, Pastaza and Cahuapa districts in Loreto.

Oil spill causes a disaster in the Amazon

The Ministry’s sanitation emergency will last for 90 days in order to expedite the necessary resources to execute a clean-up and ensure the water quality for the local populations.

The two spills, the first on Jan. 25 and the second on Feb. 3, are estimated to have released about 2,000 barrels of crude into the water, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

On Tuesday, President Ollanta Humala said there will be sanctions for those responsible for the breaches.

“We can’t be uncertain that in any day there can be a rupture. There must be maintenance and vigilance of pipelines,” said the President according to Peru21.

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