The latest tragedy in Brazil Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile

On 6th November 2015 11 people lost their lives, 12 are desaparecidos (missing) and another 600 were left sem casa (homeless) after a barragem (dam) holding waste from an iron ore mine rompeu (collapsed) in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. At 60km/h, rivers of thick mud are flowing down valleys, and have already completely destroyed the small town of Bento Rodrigues located in the district of Mariana.

Because the waste water contained heavy metals and chemicals, the extent of the impacto ambiental (environmental impact) is massive. So far, the lama (mud) has reached an area of 62 million m², contaminando (contaminating) Rio Doce, the biggest river in the north-east region of Brazil. Hundreds of thousands of people are left without water and the damage caused to the ecosystem is so vast that specialists suspect some species endemic to the region will become extinct.

Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA has fined the mining company responsible for the collapse of the dam, Samarco, $66.3m. Samarco also agreed on a $260m payment in compensation, which many people feel is not even nearly enough if taken into consideration o estrago causado (the damage caused).

Brazilians have felt that the media is not talking about this issue as much as it should, so the public created a Facebook page with updated noticias, fotos e vídeos (news, photos and videos) in order to keep people informed. Click here if you wish to follow what has been happening.

Cidadãos (citizens), especially people from Minas Gerais, have been actively helping out the population who have lost their houses, providing comida, água, roupas e abrigo (food, water, clothes and shelter). There are many Facebook pages where they post what you can do to help, here are some of them:

Unidos por Bento Rodrigues – Mariana – MG

Bento rodrigues MG

Mutirão de doação para os atingidos pelo rompimento da barragem da Samarco em Bento Rodrigues

Not to mention the groups of people getting together and traveling to the region in order to rescue animals affected by the muddy flood. Many dogs, cats, horses and other animals have been rescued and are now under the care of veterinarians and animal lovers, waiting to get a new home.

If you wish to give a helping hand, I am sure you will find ways to assist people as well as animals by checking out the Facebook pages mentioned above.

Minas Gerais e o Brasil agradecem a sua ajuda!

(Minas Gerais and Brazil thank you for all the help!)

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