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06 November 2015

Dam collapse in Brazil

Type of Event:Other - Dam failure
Location of Event:Bento Rodrigues, Brazil
Date of Charter Activation:5 November 2015
Time of Charter Activation:23:52:54
Time zone of Charter Activation:UTC+01:00
Charter Requestor:Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management
Project Management:CENAD

Two iron ore tailing dams collapsed in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, on 5 November, spilling liquid waste out into the town of Bento Rodrigues.

Nine people have been confirmed killed by the disaster, and thousands of people have been affected.

Bento Rodrigues is located in southeastern Brazil and has a population of approximately 620. The town hosts an iron ore mine for which three dams were created. The dams stored waste materials left over from the ore processing, and when the Fundao and Santarem dams collapsed they flooded Bento Rodrigues completely with these toxic materials.

The accident has been described as "catastrophic" by environmental officials in the area. Residents have been ordered to evacuate to higher ground, and there are concerns of further mudslides.

Residents of Bento Rodrigues received no warning of the disaster as the surge of waste flooded the town, and were forced to seek shelter or run when they saw the flood approaching.

Due to the nature of the disaster, it is difficult for rescue teams to locate and evacuate some of those affected as helicopters are required to safely reach them. 19 people, some of them workers from the mine, are still missing.

The mine is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton. Samarco, the company which runs the mine, has promised to minimise the damage as much as possible. It is reported that the third dam is secure and not expected to also be breached.

As a consequence of the toxic nature of the waste and the distance the flood has reached, water service has been suspended in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santos states, affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

 

Products

Areas affected by Fundao dam collapse in Minas Gerais state, Brazil

Source: Landsat-8
Acquired: 12/11/2015

Copyright: USGS
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Pre and post comparison of areas affected by Samarco dam collapse, in Bento Rodrigues District, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: Pre-disaster: 07/05/2013
Post-disaster: 11/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Pre and post disaster comparison of areas affected by Samarco dam collapse at Paracatu de Baixo District, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: Pre-disaster: 27/06/2015
Post-disaster: 12/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Pre and post disaster comparison of areas affected by Samarco dam collapse in Barra Longa, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: Pre-disaster: 07/05/2013
Post-disaster: 10/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Areas affected by Samarco dam collapse, Barra Longa City, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: 10/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Areas affected by Samarco dam collapse, Paracatu de Baixo District, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: 12/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

Areas affected by Samarco dam collapses at Bento Rodrigues, Mariana City, in Minas Gerais State, Brazil

Source: Pleiades
Acquired: 11/11/2015

Copyright: Pleiades © CNES 2015 - Distribution: Airbus Defence and Space, all rights reserved
Map produced by CENAD (Brazilian National Risk and Disaster Management Center)

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