The environmental disaster in the Peruvian Amazon region has worsened as the rupture in the country’s main oil pipeline has spilled 3,000 barrels of crude into the Chiriaco and Morona rivers, according to government officials.
Three major oil spills have taken place in the Peruvian amazon in less than a month, spilling at least 3,000 barrels of oil into local rivers.
Health authorities have declared a water quality emergency in five districts near the spill and local media reported that the oil has already polluted at least eight native villages that rely on the rivers for water.
According to Jammer Manihuari from the Interethnic Association of Development of the Peruvian Amazon, the people affected are suffering from nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea.
“Those symptoms were easily cured before with some medicinal plants from the area but right now it is impossible because all the area is polluted." Manihuari told teleSUR
The government said it has dispatched officials to the Amazon River basin to monitor remediation efforts, the pipeline is the responsibility of the state-owned oil company Petroperu.
Meanwhile, the national environmental regulator OEFA said Petroperu will face some US$17 million in fines if tests confirm that the spills, in late January and early February, damaged the health of locals.
"It's important to note that the spills ... are not isolated cases. Similar emergencies have emerged as a result of defects in sections of the pipeline," OEFA said in a statement.
WATCH: Peru,Three Oil Spills In Less Than a Month