Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Suspicious stain spotted after dam incidents in Brazil

For the second time in a week, suspicious stains were seen in the sea near the Abrolhos Marine National Park area a couple of months after two dams at an iron ore mine breached in Brazil.

Authorities suspect that the stain may be from the toxic mud which leaked from the two dams.

The mud, which contained iron ore mining waste, traveled down the valley into one of the most important rivers in the region, the Doce, effectively destroying its fauna.

Initially, authorities said there was no chance the mud would reach the Abrolhos area, as it was believed that the mud would migrate to the south because of the currents.

Joao Carlos Tome from the Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity, believed that there was a great chance the stain was from the dams' rupture.

However, Fabrio Negrao, town secretary at Caravelas, the closest town to the Abrolhos reservation, said it was too early to confirm whether the stain came from the dams.

"We have to fly over the area more times, watch the movements of the stain, and collect material to send to labs, so that maybe we can get a geochemical signature of the material," he said.

The dams burst on Nov. 5 at the Samarco mine, which unleashed 63 million cubic meters of mud, making it the worst environmental tragedy in the history of Brazil. The sludge has left 17 dead and two missing.

The Abrolhos Marine National Park is considered an area of marine life preservation of the utmost importance. The Abrolhos Archipelago is also the home of several bird species, and humpback whales are frequently seen in the area. 

  Xinhua -china.org.cn


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