An oil spill at a refinery in Peru during high waves caused by the explosion last weekend of a volcano in Tonga is an “ecological disaster,” the Peruvian government said on Wednesday, Report informs, citing Reuters.

The foreign ministry said that the oil spill had harmed animal and plant life in protected zones over a combined area of some 18,000 square kilometers (6,950 square miles) around islands and fishing regions.

“This is the worst ecological disaster that has occurred around Lima in recent times and has seriously damaged hundreds of fishermen’s families. Repsol must immediately compensate for the damage,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Environment Minister Ruben Ramirez met with Repsol’s officials and said that around 6,000 barrels of oil were spilled, according to the company.