Brazil: Search for survivors suspended for fear of 2nd dam collapse

by Kim Boateng Posted on January 27th, 2019

Amid fears that a second dam could break in Brazil, the search for survivors was suspended Sunday. On Sunday, authorities evacuated around 24,000 people in several neighborhoods in the city of Brumadinho that are within range of the B6 dam.

Before dawn, a loudspeaker warned residents of dangerous water levels at a tailings dam still standing in the Vale SA facility. They were asked to “find the highest point in the city.”

Pedro Ahiara, spokesman for the firefighters, said “the risk of a breaking continues” and “our work is completely focused on the evacuation.”

Rescue efforts were called off Saturday night until daybreak with an estimated 300 people missing.

On Sunday, a delegation from Israel was dispatched to Brazil, including about 130 soldiers and officers in active service as well as 70 reservists from the Home Front Command. They include engineering experts, doctors, search and rescue personnel and firefighters. Also, they are sending to Brazil advanced equipment that can locate cellular signals, including sonar devices and drones that can formulate an aerial picture.

Vale workers were eating lunch when the dam collapsed. Mud knocked over and buried several of the company’s buildings and surrounding areas.

Brazil’s attorney general Raquel Dodge said “someone is definitely at fault.

Around 600 mines in the state are classified as being at risk of rupture, she noted.

On Friday, an iron mine burst in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Around 40 bodies have been recovered with hundreds missing and feared dead.

Image: An aerial view Saturday shows mud and debris from a dam collapse in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. On Friday, a river of sludge destroyed buildings with dozens of bodies found and hundreds of people feared dead.

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