Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘dam burst’

State of Emergency Declared in Brazil’s Marina Mine Disaster

Posted by feww on November 12, 2015

New evacuation orders issued amid fears of repeat mine disaster

Residents near the Samarco mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, have been given new evacuation orders barely a week after the catastrophic collapses at two tailing pond dams unleashed  a tsunami of toxic sludge, burying the community of Bento Rodrigues, leaving dozens dead or missing and hundreds displaced.

The twin dam bursts released at least 62 million cubic meters of toxic sludge, burying most of the Bento Rodrigues community in Mariana, and leaving more than 630 people homeless.

A state of emergency has now been declared in the Mariana region, and civil defense authorities have issued new evacuation orders amid fears for the safety of a third dam, reported the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Wednesday.

“Families are being relocated so that they are in greater security,” the Minas Gerais state official told AFP.

The mine is operated by Samarco Mineracao—a company jointly owned by two mining giants, Brazil’s Vale S.A., world’s third largest,  and the Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, Ltd., world’s largest mining company.

A state prosecutor, who specializes in environmental cases, has accused the mine operator of “negligence,” calling for Samarco to compensate the families of victims and the displaced, said the report.

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Tsunami of Toxic Sludge Destroys Brazilian Town

Posted by feww on November 6, 2015

Toxic waste dam collapses razing Brazil Bento Rodriguestown, killing dozens

At least 70 people have reportedly been killed or are missing after a toxic waste dam burst in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, devastating the town of Bento Rodrigues [population: 650.]

The dam collapsed releasing large quantities of toxic waste from mining operations in Germano mine, which is owned by Samarco mining company. The dam, located about 300 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, is close to Gualaxo do Norte river.

[Samarco is a joint venture set up by the Brazilian multinational mining company, Vale, world’s third largest,  and the Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, world’s largest mining company.]

“An avalanche of liquid waste destroyed houses, a school, a church, a medical center, carried away vehicles. Many families have been left homeless and are waiting for news about their loved ones. The emergency work is hampered by the fact that the flooded areas are only accessible via helicopters. This is one of the saddest scenes I ever had to witness,” TASS news agency quoted the health ministry of Minas Gerais state as saying.

 

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