The environmental disaster is now an international one almost a week after a fire started in a biodiversity-rich mangrove off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.
Multinational oil company Puma Energy may be responsible of a major oil spill over the weekend in the tourist destination Puerto Sandino, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, contaminating nearly a mile of mangroves and now the coasts of Honduras and Costa Rica.
Costa Rica University oceanographer Omar Lizano reported Monday that the oil had reached the Gulf of Fonseca, shared by the three Central American countries, and was now affecting the beaches and mangroves’ exceptional biodiversity.
The spill followed an explosion involving two of the company’s four tanks that stored oil-derived products, the local environment group Humboldt Center said at a press conference over the weekend. The center demanded immediate measures to least slow down what it described as ongoing environmental damages.
“There is an important oil spill, whose precise volume remains unknown, but one kilometer square of mangrove water is filled with oil, the fauna has been affected,” said Humboldt Center’ director Victor Campos.
Beside the mangroves, the oil was also swept into the ocean while the tide rose. Corpses of fish, turtles and crabs started accumulating everywhere, reported La Prensa.