Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

More Than 2,400 Animals Killed by Oil Spill in Colombia

Animals
Miles of waterways contaminated by the oil spill in Santander, Colombia. El Tiempo / YouTube

An oil spill of approximately 550 barrels (23,100 gallons) has killed more than 2,400 fish, birds and reptiles near the city of Barrancabermeja, Colombia, RCN Radio reported.

Oil started spilling from the Lizama 158 oil field in early March and spread down 15 miles of the Lizama river and 12.4 miles of the Sogamoso river.


According to local media, it took Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol three weeks to respond to the environmental disaster.

Colombia Reports noted that the crude started escaping the oil field on March 3 but it was only this past Saturday that Ecopetrol vowed to send heavy equipment that could stop the spill.

The company said Tuesday that the spill is fully controlled and workers are carrying out environmental monitoring of the rivers. The cause of the spill is currently unclear but an investigation is underway.

In addition to the 2,400 animals who died, Claudia Gonzalez, director of the National Agency of Environmental Licenses (ANLA) told RCN Radio that 1,300 animals were rescued alive.

About 1,080 trees of different species were also affected by the spill and about 70 people had to be relocated from the area, with some people reporting health problems.

"I have practically nothing to eat, we have lived through the river all our lives and the contamination has already reached the Magdalena," area residet Elkin Cala told the Colombian television station Noticias Uno.

Barrancabermeja, located off the shore of the Magdalena river in the department of Santander, is home to the largest oil refinery in the South American country.

Santander Governor Didier Tavera Amado has criticized the oil company for being incompetent and incapable of responding to the environmental emergency.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana has been converted to a 1,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus patients to alleviate stress on local hospitals. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

An area in Louisiana whose predominantly black and brown residents are hard-hit by health problems from industry overdevelopment is experiencing one of the highest death rates from coronavirus of any county in the United States.

Read More Show Less
A woman lies in bed with the flu. marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A central player in the fight against the novel coronavirus is our immune system. It protects us against the invader and can even be helpful for its therapy. But sometimes it can turn against us.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Several flower species, including the orchid, can recover quickly from severe injury, scientists have found. cunfek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Calling someone a delicate flower may not sting like it used to, according to new research. Scientists have found that many delicate flowers are actually remarkably hearty and able to bounce back from severe injury.

Read More Show Less
A Boeing 727 flies over approach lights with a trail of black-smoke from the engines on April 9, 2018. aviation-images.com / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With global air travel at a near standstill, the airline industry is looking to rewrite the rules it agreed to tackle global emissions. The Guardian reports that the airline is billing it as a matter of survival, while environmental activists are accusing the industry of trying to dodge their obligations.

Read More Show Less
A National Guard member works on election day at a polling location on April 7, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. Andy Manis / Getty Images.

ByJulia Baumel

The outbreak of COVID-19 across the U.S. has touched every facet of our society, and our democracy has been no exception.

Read More Show Less