Oil stains have appeared in 132 different locations since early September, banning beaches and damaging local wildlife.
By Ingrid Luisa
Oct 8, 2019, 7:57 pm – Posted Oct 8, 2019, 7:50 pm
Maragogi (AL), Praia do Forte (BA), Porto de Galinhas (PE), Praia do Futuro (CE), Pipa (RN), João Pessoa (PB). It looks like a list of Brazilian paradises you should know – but unfortunately, they are just a few of the 132 points on the Brazilian coast hit by oil slicks.
The spill already reaches all 9 northeastern states. It is believed that the oil began to appear on beaches in early September, but it took almost a month to get the attention of official bodies. In statement issued on September 25, Ibama claims to be investigating the cases from the outset, taking samples and analyzing oil slicks.
According to the Ibama report, the worst affected stretch goes from the extreme south of Alagoas (Piaçabuçu) to the extreme north of Bahia (Conde). Oil patches have already been identified in a 2,000 kilometer strip of the Brazilian coast. So far, they are 133 tons of oil removed from beaches. The coast of Sergipe is the one with the most oil points. You can see some of the damage in the video below:
Huge oil slick on Coroa do Meio beach in Aracaju, capital of Sergipe.
In the video, you can see city cleaners trying to pick up some of the thick and dense oil. On the artists' beach smaller spots also appeared on the sand. pic.twitter.com/QwF0GafwyF
– NINJA Media (@MidiaNINJA) October 4, 2019
Authorities believe the leak may have been caused by a tanker carrying the fossil resource offshore. Two barrels of oil were found on two beaches in the state of Sergipe, the first in the municipality of Barra dos Coqueiros, north coast of Sergipe, and the other in Praia Formosa, south of the capital Aracaju.
Sergipe is one of the most affected states in the country. There are 14 oil points and several interdicted beaches, which made the state government decree emergency situation. A crisis cabinet was set up to follow up the case and, after meeting the governor, Belivaldo Chagas, with environment minister Ricardo Salles, a state and federal government task force was announced to deal with the problem.
Ibama investigations point out that the oil that is polluting all beaches has the same origin – and is not Brazilian. According to analyzes, the product is a type of pure oil that Brazil does not produce. In a statement, Ibama said it had asked Petrobras for support to clean the beaches.
There are several possibilities for the origin of the oil. According to Folha de S.Paulo, classified reports point to Venezuelan oil. Despite speculation, nothing official was released, and President Jair Bolsonaro claimed that he could not name any country.
So far, at least twelve animals have suffered the effects of the viscous substance – eleven sea turtles and one dolphin – and eight of them have died.
(Oil) stones in the shoe
Beyond the clear environmental damage, oil is spreading to key environmental regions in the country, such as the mouth of thefrom the São Francisco river, located in the municipality of Piaçabuçu, extreme south coast of Alagoas. According to Ibama, the spot is fixed at a point of the beach sand, about 150 meters from the river. Petrobras was called in to clean before there is a risk that the material could spread out for good.
With 2,800 kilometers in length, the São Francisco River bathes five Brazilian states (Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe) and not for nothing is called the 'National Integration River'. In addition to the fact that a large area of the country depends directly on its waters (in the northeastern semi-arid region, it is one of the few sources of drinking water in several regions), it is also important for power generation: there are six hydroelectric plants built along its path. .