The environmental disaster that has stricken the beaches of northeastern Brazil—with the arrival of oil slicks in the region—is an unprecedented case in the world, and it is not yet possible to predict its end.
The evaluation is from the Environmental Emergencies Coordinator of Ibama (Natural Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), Fernanda Pirillo, responsible for the cleaning operations of the affected places.
Faced with criticism about the delay in the government's response to the appearance of oil slicks, she argued that Ibama has been working on the beaches since the first appearance of oil and today has 130 agents from the institute's environmental area on the fronts.
According to Ibama's Environmental Emergencies coordinator, three factors make this disaster unique: the lack of knowledge of the person responsible for the pollution, the extent of the impact, and the recurrence of oil arrival, which leads one to believe that it is intermittent leakage.
The first appearance of oil was confirmed by Ibama in Paraíba, on August 30th. Two days later, there were also appearances on beaches of Pernambuco and Sergipe. Since then, six other states in the Northeast have been affected, from Maranhão to Bahia. The extent of the impact already exceeds 2,000 kilometers.
"At first, we didn't imagine what would happen. Such an accident is unprecedented in the world," said Ibama's coordinator.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon