World

Chile's pristine Patagonia hit by oil spill

Chile Navy personal working in a control damage from the spill oil at the terminal of Guarello island, Chile. Source: Chile Navy

Chile's navy says it is working to mitigate the effects of a diesel oil spill in one of the planet's most untouched areas with important biodiversity.

Some 40,000 litres (10,500 gallons) of oil have spilt into the sea from a terminal on a remote island in Patagonia on the southern tip of Chile, local authorities said.

The Chilean navy sent a team to the site -- about 250 kilometres northeast of the town of Puerto Natales -- after Chilean mining and steelworking company CAP alerted it to the incident.

Sailors work to contain damage from an oil spill, on Guarello Island in Chile.
Sailors work to contain damage from an oil spill, on Guarello Island in Chile.
Chile Navy

"Units were ordered to deploy immediately to the area to take stock of what has happened, to control and mitigate possible damage caused by the emergency," said the Chilean navy.

A barge and an ocean patrol boat were sent, along with a team to limit contamination at the site, the navy said, adding they have opened an investigation into the spill.

The affected area is part of Chile's extreme south, which has some of the world's cleanest waters and richest marine ecosystems.

Source AFP - SBS

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