Skip to main content

Peru: Oil Spill - Jan 2022

Disaster types
Technological Disaster

The Government of Peru has formally declared an environmental emergency following a 15 January oil spill at a Repsol-owned refinery near the Ventanilla district to the north of the Lima metropolitan region. The spill, estimated to be of about 6,000 barrels, has affected more than 700 hectares of water and 180 hectares of coastline, and with currents pushing the oil north, it continues to cause more environmental damage and threatens the health and livelihoods of nearby coastal communities. Government response to the disaster is involving several different public offices, while Repsol reports they have deployed 1,800 people to respond to the refinery’s spill and specialized machinery to help contain further spread. Following the Government’s request for UN support, a team of personnel from OCHA, the OCHA and UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-led Joint Environment Unit (JEU), UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and technical experts identified by the JEU is deploying to provide analysis and recommendations on disaster response and coordination. (OCHA, 24 Jan 2022)

Affected communities are seeking clarity on support measures, while a strong social and ecological activism movement is leading to scores of untrained and unprotected people taking to beaches to tend to wildlife affected by the spill, risking their health in the process. [...] Repsol reports they have scaled up clean-up personnel from 1,800 to 2,200 and have deployed more than 70 heavy machinery units, 27 large vessels and 90 boats to tackle the remaining clean-up. The oil company also indicates they have installed 4,400m of containment barriers and removed more than 10,000 m3 of affected sands for treatment, or about 2,000 containers’ worth. (OCHA, 27 Jan 2022)