Cuban experts value how "low" pollutant levels from the fire

Cuban experts value how "low" pollutant levels from the fire

The serious fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base produced “low” contaminant levels, according to Cuban authorities to the official press this Sunday.

Oscar García Martínez, delegate of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in Matanzas, assured that the main effects are “to the quality of the air, as in any fire” and that the levels measured “do not compromise human health.”

The incident, which began on August 5 and lasted almost a week, claimed the lives of 16 peoplesome of them young men who were completing compulsory military service, and injured 146, 17 of whom are still hospitalized.

“Everything indicates that what happened in the fire stage does not seem to have compromised any aspect for the future,” said García Martínez without showing exact figures. The government expects to have an environmental impact assessment next September. Scientific investigations, continued the official, continue. “If we know of any news, we inform it,” he told the newspaper. Giron. “If any indicator changes, we will analyze it and follow up on it.”

The specialist said that sampling in Matanzas Bay, near the disaster site, “visually corroborates that there is no damage right now.”

The specialist said that sampling in Matanzas Bay, near the industrial area where the disaster occurred, “visually corroborates that there is no damage right now.”

He pointed out that “we have never experienced a spill (of crude oil) associated with a fire”, and the investigations into its effects cover aspects related to the soil, agricultural production, traces in the milk of cattle, a series of elements to know the magnitude real impact of the incident, the largest recorded on the Island.

This analysis stage, scheduled for two months, could be extended up to two more years with other parameters, “to re-evaluate soil, vegetation and food chains,” he added.

Although he considers that “the danger has passed”, because the focus that caused the increase of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, among other substances, in the atmosphere “disappeared”, for which he estimates the emissions are in the customary range in Matanzas.

Four of the eight tanks of the storage base, the largest facility of its kind in Cuba to receive and store crude, burned completely causing explosions, flames of several tens of meters and a smoke screen that reached neighboring provinces such as Mayabeque and La Havana, located more than 100 kilometers to the west.


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