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Pará de Minas decrees water emergency following dam disaster

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Pará de Minas decrees water emergency following dam disaster

Brazil's Pará de Minas municipality, in Minas Gerais state, declared an emergency due to a risk of water shortages following the collapse of a tailings dam operated by mining giant Vale.

On January 25, a tailings dam at a Vale iron ore mine in the state collapsed (in photo), leaving over a hundred people dead and hundreds more missing.

The sludge reached the Paraopeba river, the main source of water for Pará de Minas, contaminating the river with heavy metals.

The municipal government suspended water supplies from the river and now there is a high risk of a water shortage in the town. With the emergency decree, the municipal administration can adopt urgent measures, such as the acquisition of equipment and water tanks without holding a tender process, in order to mitigate the effects of the contamination.

Currently, the town is using 16 artesian wells to supply water to the population of around 93,000.

Mayor Elias Diniz is demanding Vale's assistance in resolving the situation. "It is their obligation, Vale generated the environmental impact," he said, according to Globo TV.

 

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