Monday, June 17, 2024

Sonora acid spill meant instant death for anything it touched: researcher

A spill of 3,000 liters of sulfuric acid at the Port of Guaymas, Sonora, into the Gulf of California last week caused significant damage to the gulf ecosystem, according to Reina Castro Longoria, a marine biology researcher at the University of Sonora and a substitute senator.

“The impact is undeniable, it was instant death for everything it touched; flora, fauna, the water, and the whole immediate area,” she told reporters. “And it will also cause damage elsewhere as it disperses. I don’t say this to cause alarm, but this kind of thing has a domino effect, and it will break the ecological balance in that area, because sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive substance.”

Grupo México, Mexico’s largest mining company and owner of the facility responsible for the spill, said the accident was too small to cause serious environmental damage.

Castro added that she thinks the government should suspend Grupo México’s mining concessions because of the spill and several other incidents.

Jaqueline García Hernández, an environmental science researcher at the Food and Development Research Center in Sonora, agrees with Grupo México that the effects of the spill will be limited, but says the situation should be closely monitored.

In an interview with the newspaper La Jornada, García said the acid was quickly diluted by seawater, and that any changes in pH were controlled and neutralized.

“It was a spill that had effects in the moment,” she said. “We took samples to see if there was damage when the acid spilled, and 10 fish died. We will keep monitoring the spill site.”

García added that deaths of more fish or birds in the area is unlikely.

According to the environmentalist group Poder, the Guaymas spill is the 14th accident at a Grupo México facility. In 2014, a company mine spilled 40,000 cubic meters of copper sulfate acid solution into two rivers in Sonora, causing extensive environmental damage.

Source: La Jornada (sp), El Universal (sp)

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
A group of mostly Black migrants, some of whom maybe be undocumented foreigners, walks down a Mexican highway under a bright sun.

Nearly 1.4 million undocumented migrants detected in Mexico so far this year

The National Immigration Institute (INM) data on encounters from January to May is almost double the number for all of 2023.
NOAA satellite imagery of low pressure system in Gulf of Mexico

Meteorologists monitor possible tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico

A low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical storm by midweek, as torrential rains hit the Yucatán peninsula.
Two damaged SUVs after a car accident.

President-elect Sheinbaum unharmed after a deadly accident involving her motorcade

The crash killed an elderly woman and injured another person. No injuries were reported among Sheinbaum and her team.