Vallourec dam overflows in Nova Lima (MG) and blocks BR 040
Water`s dam Mina de Pau Branco started to overflow this morning (08) in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte
Publicado 08/01/2022 - Atualizado 08/01/2022
A dike wall of the Pau Branco water mine, from Vallourec mining company, broke this Saturday morning (8) in Nova Lima, causing flooding and interdiction of BR-040. According to the Fire Department, the dam is water and mud remains and there was no record of deaths, but the road 040 is totally blocked at KM 562. Images taken by residents show the tailings mud that took the road and blocked traffic on the place that is under heavy rains.
According to initial reports, the overflow was caused by a problem with the dam’s drainage, which caused the fall of piles of tailings (waste rock + filtered tailings) from the mining company. The material reached a dam, creating a wave of water that carried mud to the BR 040 highway, right below the structure.
The coordinator from the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), Sonia Mara Maranho, points out that the overflow happens near to the date that marks three years of the Brumadinho`s crime. She warns that the rainy season always puts the population around dams at risk because of the possibility of new breaches due to the structures’ lack of proper maintenance and safety. “The safety of the residents needs to be a priority, due to the criminal history of the companies that control dams in Brazil. We know what the lack of maintenance and inspection of these structures can cause and we cannot wait for new crimes to be repeated,” says the activist.
MAB continues to gather new information about the situation