Dam collapses and floods village in Minas Gerais

The local patrol reports the Bento Rodrigues village was completely

Published in 06/11/2015 - 09:33 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Mariana (MG) - Uma barragem pertencente à mineradora Samarco se rompeu no distrito de Bento Rodrigues, zona rural a 23 quilômetros de Mariana, em Minas Gerais, e inundou a região (Corpo de Bombeiros/MG - Divulgação)

The mud has swept cars and trucks, engulfed nearly all houses near the dam, and cut off local residents.Fire Department of Minas Gerais - Uncredited

A tailings dam belonging to Samarco mining company burst on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 5) in the Bento Rodrigues village near the heritage town of Mariana, Minas Gerais, and flooded the area with mud, solid waste, and water residue from mining operations. The local patrol reports the village was entirely awash, and the fire department, the local patrol and the emergency service are carrying out rescue operations on the site.

According to the local government, the situation is serious with landslide hazard. Several homes were flooded. At least one death was reported by the Monsenhor Horta Hospital in Mariana, where the casualties are receiving care. In the neighboring town of Ouro Preto, the local charity hospital is also on alert to provide assistance to victims.

The number of people injured and missing has not been established yet. The mud has swept cars and trucks, engulfed nearly all houses near the dam, and cut off local residents. Samarco has urged the population in Bento Rodrigues to flee to a higher, safer part of the district of Camargos. In a statement, the company said it “has not been able to establish the cause and reach of the incident.”

“The company is making every effort to prioritize emergency care and mitigate environmental damage. It has reported the incident to the authorities and the appropriate personnel is providing assistance on site.”

The local government is preparing a sports hall and a school to shelter the displaced. The local health department is also rallying a task force to help provide emergency injury care. There are no official data as to the number of people that have been displaced at this point. According to the local community association, 620 people live in Bento Rodrigues.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Dam collapses and floods village in Minas Gerais

Edition: Augusto Queiroz

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