In Brazil, torrential rains kill dozens and threaten dams

The state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, has been plagued by torrential downpours for several days causing severe flooding and landslides, which have killed at least 24 people. The three most at-risk dams in the country are in the affected areas.

It only took a few seconds. On Thursday morning, January 13, an impressive landslide completely destroyed a historic building and an adjacent warehouse in the center of Ouro Preto, a famous colonial city in the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil. The soil of the hill against which this house, now belonging to the town hall, had been built was “waterlogged due to the rains of the last few days”, reports the site Metrohpoles.

Being in a place at “high risk”, the building had been off limits since 2012 and firefighters had evacuated the entire area minutes earlier. No casualties have been identified.

Four days earlier, a landslide at Lake Furnas, in western Minas Gerais, had turned tragic. While several tourist boats were sailing on this body of water surrounded by imposing cliffs and waterfalls, a long rock had collapsed on three of them, killing 10 people and injuring 32. “Lrock face collapse may have been accelerated by soil erosion and infwater iltrations from heavy rains” in the region, explains the site G1, of the Globo group, which specifies that an investigation is still in progress.

Cut roads

Between January 5 and 12, the entire state of Minas Gerais was hit by torrential downpours, which claimed a total of 24 lives, in addition to the victims of Lake Furnas, while nearly 25,000 people had to leave their homes. home, report G1 in another article. “From rivers overflowed, residents left their homes due to flooding or the risk of dams breaking, vehicle traffic on the roads was affected in more than a hundred places” and several mines had to suspend their operations, relates for its part Newspaper. Yesterday, 374 municipalities were still in an emergency situation, adds the daily.

The situation of the many dams in the state, one of which overflowed, is causing serious concern, almost three years after the Brumadinho disaster, when a dam


Morgan Jezequel

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