The February 4th oil spill in the Guarapiche river in Monagas State is an enviromental disaster that has put the water supply of Maturín at risk. While PDVSA keeps saying the situation is under control, the real extent of the damage has started to show.
The main issue is whether the river water is apt for consumption. A Vice-President of PDVSA, Eulogio Del Pino, drank a glass of water from the river to prove its safety.
The National Academy of Natural Sciences said: not so fast.
“There could be three elements in the water: oils, heavy metals and aromatic hydrocarbons… prolonged contact with heavy metals is toxic… Some of the aromatics are class 1 carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization…”
Del Pino’s stunt brings to mind the case of Otsuka Norikazu, a japanese TV host who ate vegetables from Fukushima live on air to support local farmers who sufferred after the nuclear disaster. Later, he was diagnosed with Leukemia.
While Maturín copes with the contingency, the independent pro-Chávez Governor of Monagas is angry. Seems like a whole bunch of other people are about to get angry as well. The pipeline explosion which started it all is here. Now, there’s another spill in Anzoátegui.