Oil spill contaminates river in Peruvian Amazon

More than 3,000 gallons of oil and gasoline spilled into the Itaya River in Peru’s northernmost Amazonian region of Loreto, contaminating the water supply of hundreds of people.

Mystery still surrounds the exact cause of the accident that led to the spill after a floating filling station tipped over Sunday afternoon, near the port of Vergara in Loreto’s province of Maynas.

The Maynas Port Authority, Petroperú and the Regional Department of Health of Loreto immediately set up emergency measures in response to the hazardous oil spill and initiated cleanup measures for the shorelines.

Local residents, who were told not to drink the water, complained that many other small or medium-sized informal “gas boats” ply the waters of the Itaya, Nanay, Amazonas and Moronacocha rivers and that many others have already tipped over or spilled oil into the waters, daily Peru.21 reported.

Covering almost one-third of Peru’s territory, Loreto is Peru’s largest and most sparsely populated region.

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