• Peru Repsol was not aware of the magnitude of the oil spill on the coast "until a day later"

The amount of crude oil spilled into the sea in

Peru

was double what had been reported so far, the government announced on Friday, hours after the court banned four directors of the Spanish oil company

Repsol from leaving the country for 18 months.

"We have a figure so far of

11,900 barrels"

dumped into the sea on January 15, instead of the 6,000 reported so far,

Environment Minister Rubén Ramírez

said at a press conference.

The spill, described as an "ecological disaster" by the Peruvian government, occurred while the Italian-flagged tanker

Mare Doricum was unloading at the

La Pampilla

refinery

in

Ventanilla,

30 km north of

Lima,

owned by Repsol.

The company attributed the accident to waves caused by the volcanic eruption in

Tonga.

Meanwhile, the deputy environment minister

, Alfredo Mamani,

confirmed that "the new estimate is 11,900 barrels, [as] the minister said."

Juan PonceEFE

The black oil stain has been dragged by sea currents about 140 km north of the refinery, according to the prosecution, causing the death of an undetermined number of fish and seabirds.

In addition, it left hundreds of artisanal fishermen unemployed, who have staged protests against the Spanish company.

"To date, there are already

4,225 barrels recovered"

from the sea and beaches, just over a third of the total, explained Deputy Minister Mamani.

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