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Chapapote, which began appearing weeks ago, affects 130 beaches in nine northeastern states.
Thick and viscous remnants of oil pushed to the shore by the waves threaten some of the most spectacular beaches in northeastern Brazil. Authorities have collected some one hundred tons of crude oil in more than a hundred beaches in nine states since the first signs of the disaster appeared, in early September. The origin of the oil is a mystery. What is known at the moment is that it is not oil produced in Brazil or sold in this country, according to analyzes carried out by state oil company Petrobras . Environmentalists have suspended the release of turtles at sea after the death of several of them. The environmental damage has not been evaluated at this time.
The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, detailed on Monday several hypotheses about the origin of the spill: “It could be something criminal, or an accident, or even a sinking ship. We have on the radar a country that could be the origin of the oil, ”he said without specifying more. Petrobras technicians point to Venezuela as the most likely source, according to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
Another of the hypotheses that the researchers consider is that the crude oil was illegally thrown into the sea by a ship. The president pointed out that “it does not seem to come from a maritime platform” of crude oil from the many that dot the Atlantic in that area.
The oil company has officially reported that the results of the molecular analyzes of the organic material located on the beaches are not compatible with the oil varieties that Petrobras produces and sells.
The authorities of Sergipe, the most affected State , have declared an emergency. “More black spots arrive in the sand,” fisherman Amador Marcos warned this Sunday, DW reports, the day after Ibama environmental agency teams had cleaned other viscous debris. “I’m 52 years old, I live here decades ago, but I’ve never seen anything like this. I have ever seen oil bubbles coming from the perforations. But nothing of this nature, ”he stressed.
Half of the beaches where the chapapote appeared have been cleaned naturally while Petrobras employees perform waste collection tasks in another dozen beaches. In most of them, the spots cover a small portion of the sand.
The solid and huge oil seedlings that appeared on 130 beaches in a strip that goes from the State of Maranhão to that of Bahia that show the television images have taken weeks to become national news. But this Saturday the head of the Government demanded that the source be investigated quickly and on Monday he talked about the hypotheses while his environment minister, Ricardo Salles, flew over the affected area.
Em Sergipe, vistoriando o local de óleo nas praias. Desde 02 /setembro as equipes do IBAMA e ICMBIO, junto aos 42 municípios, marinha e demais órgãos no recolhimento de mais de 100 toneladas de borra de petróleo. pic.twitter.com/MKpVp99NUe
— Ricardo Salles MMA (@rsallesmma) 7 October 2019