Death toll in Brazil dam disaster hits 58, with 305 missing

Death toll in Brazil dam disaster hits 58, with 305 missing

Death toll in Brazil dam disaster hits 58, with 305 missing

Written by Reuters

28 Jan, 2019 | 2:29 pm

Reuters: The death toll from Brazil’s collapsed mining dam climbed to 58, with 305 people still missing in southeast Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais, said local authorities on Sunday night.

The dam owned by the Brazilian mining giant Vale collapsed Friday afternoon in Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais.

The collapse also caused a mud wave to flow down the river, destroying administrative areas of Vale and nearby residences as well.

Brazilian officials on Sunday suspended the search for potential survivors and evacuated thousands of local residents amid fears that another nearby dam owned by the same company could also collapse. But the search efforts have now resumed following the alarm being lifted.

Clean water is the most needed relief good in the disaster-stricken area. Many volunteers have arrived there to offer their assistance.

“This vehicle carries 45,000 bottles of clean water. We have reserved nearly 200,000 bottles of clean water, which is capable of sustaining the water demand at the disaster area for 20 to 30 days,” said Cleiton Pimentel, an official in charge of material distribution at an emergency rescue center.

Many local residents have also joined the firefighters to carry out the relief work. But the Civil Defense office in Minas Gerais warned them not to go to the disaster areas due to lingering safety concerns.

“We have received enough donations. Two trucks fully loaded with clean water will reach here soon. We feel touched to see that people are very united and willing to offer help to each other. But we hope that volunteers will not go to the accident site, we will organize professionals to do the relief work,” said Pimentel.

Minas Gerais is one of the major iron ore supply bases in Brazil and the industry there employs many people. A dam in the state also collapsed in 2015, killing 19 people.

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