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Hope becomes anxiety after Brazil's dam collapse; 40 dead



Hope that their loved ones had survived a tsunami of iron ore, my waste from a dam in Brazil turned to anxiety and anger over the increasing likelihood that many of the hundreds of people who was missing was dead.

By Saturday evening, when the authorities interrupted the rescue operation until the daybreak, the death duty of 40 died stood by up to 300 people who were deemed to have disappeared. All day, helicopters flew low over areas buried by mud, and firefighters worked to get to structures by digging.

"I'm angry. I can't be calm," said Sonia Fatima da Silva, as she tried to get information about her son who had been working for the Vale mining company for 20 years. "I hope they are honest. I want news, even if it's bad."

When Silva said that she last spoke to her son before going to work on Friday, there at around noon. To send waves of mud for miles (miles) and bury much in its path.

Employees in the mining complex owned and operated by the Brazilian mining company Vale ate lunch on Friday afternoon when the dam gave way.

  A couple with missing relatives looking at the flooded area after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

A couple with missing relatives looking at the flooded area, after that a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

During Saturday, a number of families in the city of Brumadinho were expecting a desperate word on their loved ones, as Romeu Zema, governor of the Minas Gerais state, said that most recovery efforts at present would cause the withdrawal of organs.

The stream of waste reached the nearby community of Vila Ferteco and an occupied Vale administrative office. On Saturday, the rooftops crossed a large area of ​​the mud, which also cut off roads. After the dam fell, some were evacuated from Brumadinho. Other residents of the affected areas almost escaped their lives.

"I saw all the mud down the hill and snapped the trees as it came down. It was a great sound," said a tear-rich Simone Pedrosa from the Parque Cachoeira neighborhood, about 8km from where the pond collapsed.

"I saw all the mud down the hill and snapped the trees as it stems. It was a huge noise. I can't get that noise out of my head. It's a trauma … I will never forget." 19659014] – Simone Pedrosa, 45, who lives about 5 miles from the crash site

Pedrosa, 45, and the parents hit their car and drove to the highest point in the neighborhood. "If we had gone in the other direction, we would be dead," said Pedrosa.

"I can't get that noise out of my head," she said. "It's a trauma … I will never forget."

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In addition to the 40 bodies recovered as of Saturday night, 23 people were hospitalized, the authorities said. with minas gerais fire department. There were some signs of hope earlier Saturday when the authorities found 43 people alive.

The company said in a statement on Saturday that while 100 workers were counted, more than 200 workers were still missing. Brand officials at one point estimated the total at close to 300.

Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman said he didn't know what caused the collapse. About 300 employees worked when it happened.

  The mud covers the backyard of a house after a dam near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

The mud covers the backyard of a house after a dam collapse near Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday, January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

For many, hope was evaporated.

"I don't think he lives," said Joao Bosco and talked about his cousin Jorge Luis Ferreira, who worked for Vale. "At the moment, I can only hope for a miracle of God."

Vanilza Sueli Oliveira described the wait for the news of his nephew as "disturbing."

"Time passes by," she said. "It's already been 24 hours … I just don't want to think he's under the mud."

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The drainage from mining also caused fear of widespread pollution.

According to Vale's website, the waste, often called leaching, is composed mostly of sand and is non-toxic. However, a UN report found that the waste from a similar disaster in 2015 "contained high levels of toxic heavy metals."

During the weekend, state courts and the Ministry of Justice ordered Minas Gerai's freezing of approx. $ 1.5 billion from Vale assets to state emergency services and told the company to present a report on how they would help victims.

Brazil's lawyer Raquel Dodge promised to investigate and say "someone is definitely guilty". Dodge noted that there are 600 mines in the state of Minas Gerais alone that are classified as being at risk of fracture.

  An aerial view shows a partially destroyed house after a dam fell in Brumadinho, Brazil, Saturday January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

An aerial view shows a partially destroyed house after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho , Brazil, Saturday, January 26, 2019. (Associated Press)

Another dam managed by Vale and the Australian mining company BHP Billiton collapsed in 2015 in the city of Mariana in the same state of Minas Gerais, resulting in 19 deaths and forcing hundreds from their homes. Considering the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killing thousands of fish. Estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowing into the Atlantic.

Schvartsman said what happened Friday was "a human tragedy much greater than the Mariana's tragedy, but probably the environmental damage will be less." [19659005] Sueli de Oliveira Costa, who had not heard from her husband since Friday, had hard words to the mining company.

"Vale destroyed Mariana and now they have destroyed Brumadinho," she said.

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The newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday that the dam's mine complex was issued an accelerated license for extension in December due to "reduced risk". Conservation groups in the area claimed that the approval was illegal.

On Twitter, President Jair Bolsonaro said his government would do everything possible to prevent more tragedies like Mariana and now Brumadinho.

The far right is leading a campaign on promises to start Brazil's economy, partly by deregulating mining and other industries.

Environmental groups and activists said the latest game underlined the lack of regulation, and many promised to fight any further deregulation.

When Silva summed up what many felt by saying the accident was clearly "negligence."

"This could have been avoided if the company had taken the necessary precautions after Maria's tragedy three years ago," she said.

Peter Prengaman reported from Arraial do Cabo, Brazil.


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