mariana

#PrayforBrazil

In light of all the recent tragedies the world has been facing, please take your time to also pray for Brazil, which is currently going through one of the biggest environmental disasters in its history.

For those of you who dont know, on November 5, two huge water dams between Mariana and Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Gerais, broke. The dams were located in a very industrial region, thus the dam water is filled with manganese and iron dejects, and these are lethal to both animals and nature. With the breaking of the dams, a huge surge of mud has washed over these cities, as well as many others,destroying everything in its way. More than 2000 people have been affected, although the number is continuously growing. The nature that once used to grow there is completely covered, and many species of plants and animals will probably become extinct.

As of right now, the mud has already affected two states (MG and ES). However, that is not the biggest problem. The mud is close to reaching the Rio Doce. This river is the main water supplier of the region, if not the only. Once the mud reaches the river, it will disappear and there will no longer be water for those who depend on it. As many brazilians are saying, “A morte do Rio Doce”, or Rio Doce´s death. The consequences will most likely be deadly.

This is, of course, a very brief summary of what is happening. But please, #PrayforBrazil.

UPDATE: Samarco and other institutions responsible for the rupture were UNABLE to contain the mud and it has now reached the ocean. The beaches of Espirito Santo are slowly becoming brown. The Pantanal vegetation may dissapear.

x/x/x/x/x/x

3

A tragedy happened in Brazil this week, too, and tens of towns were buried in mud due to a error of a giant mining company managing and responsible for a dam. It’s called Samarco, half owned by the Brazilian Vale do Rio Doce and half owned by the Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton. It’s literally looking like Pompeii might have. Many people died, many other are lost, and thousands of people lost their homes and everything they knew of.

Please, also keep them in your thoughts. It’s not being reported anywhere internationally because said company really fucked up, it’s internationally influential and they’re trying to cover it and hide it away in any way they can. If you want to read about it, the district most heavily affected is called “Mariana”, in Minas Gerais. Please also keep Minas Gerais in your thoughts.

Mariana/Paris. Tragédias sim, porém diferentes. De uma lado a ganância de empresários, erros, inadimplência governamental, fiscalização corrupta (eu não acredito que ninguém sabia que existia a possibilidade da barragem romper). Do outro lado pessoas que usam a fé para cometer atrocidades, homens que se propõem a morrer por uma causa obscura ao olhos dos outros. Não amam a vida, não amam ninguém. Puxam o gatilho matam 100 de uma única vez sem ao menos pestanejar. Os motivos são distintos, mas os culpados são os mesmos, os Homens. Por Mariana estou triste, por Paris desacreditado na humanidade.
—  Sexta-Feira 13 de um Novembro Sangrento e Enlamaçado. (F.S)
ibtimes.co.uk
Brazil dam burst aftermath photos: 19 still missing after wave of red mud erased a village
A destructive wave of viscous red mud has all but erased the village of Bento Rodrigues.

This happened a little over a week ago, and the only reason why I haven’t posted anything about it is that there are absolutely no good English-language articles about it. So here are some pictures. The whole thing is incredibly sad.

This happened in my state. I visited that general area when I went to Brazil earlier this year. Both the environmental damage and the human toll appear to be much larger than is being reported by the mainstream media. The company has a tight control over the area, and the (mostly right wing) media is not interested in digging deeper. Politicians have received large campaign donations from the mining industry and are unlikely to act out. The local community was destroyed, and BHP Billiton/Vale are using their influence to settle with each victim individually to avoid collective action. The village will cease to exist. The reports that say the mud will be washed away, causing damage to all sorts of fragile ecosystems until it reaches the sea (over 500km away), are only partially true - some of the mud will harden, covering the riverbed and causing permanent damage.

The guardian reports that governor Pimentel “joined critics calling for a rethink of how regulation of the mining industry [sic]”. He is just paying lip service to the idea - he’s received large sums from Vale and is pushing for less regulation for mining and environmental issues in general.

4

(Hey, I’m writing this because I think you should know what’s happening
in Brazil right now. Sorry for any mistake, English is not my native language).

There’s a relatively small town called Mariana, in the state of Minas Gerais (500 miles from São Paulo), where 58.802 people live. On November 5th, two dams, belonging to a mining called Samarco Mineradora, just crashed down. About 500.000.000m³ of mud were released by the accident - that’s enough to fill 20.000 Olympic pools. This mud is contaminated by a combination of substances that are extremely dangerous to human health. Although Brazilian media treating the case as an accident, this is the result of an enormous indifference of the authorities and businessmen responsible for Samarco.

The mud invaded and destroyed at least 5 Mariana’s districts, resulting in 8 people dead, 19 missing and more than two thousand homeless. Those families lost everything - their houses, furniture, blankets, clothes, food, dignity. Everything.

But the worst part is the environmental disaster.

Rio Doce, one of the most important rivers of our country, was contamined by the mud. Now, it is absolutely dead. Dead. The water and animals that lived there are now dead. Fishes are dead. And some cities that depended on the river economically and for water supply are dead as well.

Environmentalists are saying that Rio Doce probably will not recover until the next century. So, for the next ten decades, we have fish shoals extinct, 800.000 people without potable water and two states (Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo) affected by the mud, that is still running and traveling through our rivers, in a natural disaster that never ends. About 186 miles of natural beach in Espírito Santo should also be contamined in a few days.

I know we’re all praying for Paris now, but please, if you can, pray for Brazil too.

2

On November 5, 2015, occurred the rupture of two dams of Samarco mining tailings, whose owners are Vale and Anglo-Australian BHP. The accident caused a torrent of mud that flooded several houses in Bento Rodrigues and district of Mariana, in the Central Region of Minas Gerais, BRAZIL.
At least 128 homes were hit by the wave of mud and waste. Officially, there are 7 dead, including children, and a lot of missing people, including Samarco mining company employees and residents of Bento Rodrigues and Mariana districts. Several domestic and wild animals were affected, some were rescued alive and are in shelters.
The district of Bento Rodrigues was wiped off the map, and in spite of the population that want to rebuild it, today it was declared extinct.

People are homeless, without food, but mostly without drinking water. The humble families lost everything they had. There are several donation centers across the country and the companies responsible for the tragedy are trying to take some supportive measures.
A river was hit by mud, ecosystems are being destroyed and the fish and water-dependent animals are dying.


It is a social and environmental tragedy. I know people are not commenting about it much, so I decided to share these images (the cartoons), showing that in the chaos, terror and destruction, there are still good people who sympathize and care about humanity.

We need to talk about Mariana

There’s a lot going on the world right now, but what’s going on in Brazil can’t be ignored. I’ve decided on doing this post when I noticed many of my friends from other countries didn’t know what was happening and came to ask me. So here’s some information. 

There’s an area in Brazil very well know for it’s mining purposes… and historical cities. And maybe anywhere else people would have thought it’s a bad idea to mix the both of them, but shit happens, and it happened. Last week, one of the barriers that held back the mud from one of those mining areas ( so mud mixed with iron residues) broke, and we lost a city.

Yes, a city. And a river. 

Check the before and after pictures bellow (from here):

This was mud enough to fill 20 THOUSAND Olympic pools. You read that right. The city above (Bento Rodrigues) is literally covered in twenty thousand olympic pools of mud. 

But that’s not all. The river that crossed the city is not only dead bellow all the dirt (thousands of fish appeared dead, there were about 80 species on the river), but it’s taking part of it 500km away, until our very littoral. Yes, everyone, we might have just managed to get a bunch of mud to the Atlantic Ocean and damage marine life too. It’s going towards Espirito Santo, and their littoral happens to be the place where an engendered species of turtles reproduce, exactly in November.  Besides, now some people also don’t have water cause, ya know, can’t take water easily from a river that doesn’t exists anymore.

“But it’s mud, right? The ambient will recover from this soon”

Nope. It’s not just dirt, it’s dirt poor of nutrients and mixed with potentially toxic residues. The mining company (Samarco, owned partially by Vale) states that there aren’t toxic metals in the mud, but another test showed mercury in the water contaminated around the city. And even if there aren’t toxins, experts are saying nothing will grow on top of it for a long while. 

“How did any of it happen though??”

Nobody is sure yet. While it might have to do with seismic activity, it could have been negligence and some people are saying the barriers weren’t on their best for years (although they were verified not so long ago).

So far, 11 deaths were confirmed and some other 20 people are missing. It’s been hard to confirm the actual losses, for obvious reasons. 

But if you thought the situation was bad enough, consider this: another barrier is threatening to break close by. 

Here’s links to the sources of all this, I could only find them in Portuguese: x x x x x.

We need to talk about Mariana. We need the world to know.