Ecuador oil spill pollutes river, protected Amazon area: Ministry

R&I – FS

An oil spill in eastern Ecuador has reached a protected area of the nation’s Amazon rainforest and contaminated a river that supplies water to Indigenous communities, Ecuador’s environment ministry said.

Nearly two hectares (five acres) of a protected area of the Cayambe-Coca National Park have been contaminated, as well as the Coca River – one of the biggest in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The park of some 400,000 hectares (988,420 acres) is home to a wide variety of animals, including red brocket deer and various amphibians, and holds important water reserves.

Heavy rains caused a mudslide in the eastern Napo province on Friday, during which a rock struck and ruptured a pipeline owned by private company OCP Ecuador.

Neither the government nor OCP Ecuador has quantified the extent of the spill, but the environmental authority has described it as a “major” pollution event.


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