Four actions to face the crisis in Zaruma

Four actions to face the crisis in Zaruma

It is expected to gradually rehabilitate electricity. In addition, the support of the Army Corps of Engineers is sought to prevent further subsidence.

After, on December 15, 2021, a sinkhole or subsidence will affect homes and other important infrastructure in the center of Zaruma, El Oro province., the Ministry of energy announced mitigation and response measures.

These measures, with a short and medium-term scope, were prepared by Xavier Vera Grunauer, Vice Minister of Mines, together with technicians from the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, the Geological and Energy Research Institute (IIGE) and the National Electricity Corporation (CNEL).

  1. In the first place, CNEL will progressively enable public lighting in the streets near the sinkhole.

2. The IIGE will collect information to prepare digital images that will allow
know the characteristics of the surface of Zaruma.

3. The Regulation and Control Agency, in conjunction with the National Police and the Armed Forces, They will carry out inspections of the mining works that are located in the vicinity of the exclusion zone.

4. Ae will train police, military and technical personnel of the agency on safety in working at heights and underground routes inside the mines, with the support of the Fire Department and private companies.

The Vice Minister explained that the Provincial COE to request the technical intervention of the Army Corps of Engineers for the construction of structural elements that prevent the tunnel from spreading.

He also stressed that what happened “is caused by the activities of illegal minery, that they have not respected the 177.7 hectares of mining exclusion ”.

However, the authorities have not explained if controls have been carried out in the last six months and what type of mining operations are maintained in the area, despite not having permits from any authority.

Since 2017, through various studies and reports, it has already been alerted to the growing dangers in Zaruma from illegal mining. In this sense, three governments have not taken action or real plans to reverse this situation. (JS)

FACT: The President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, decreed state of emergency in Zaruma for 90 days.

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