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Before and after pictures show the devastation of Brazil dam burst

New before and after photos reveal the horrific devastation of a dam burst in Brazil that has left at least 37 people dead and hundreds still missing. 

The dam burst at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in southeastern Brazil unleashed a torrent of mud on Friday, burying the mining facilities and nearby homes in the town of Brumadinho.

It reached the nearby community of Vila Ferteco as well, burying buildings to their rooftops and cutting off roads.  

Nearly 300 people are still missing, with the list of those unaccounted for being constantly updated. Most of those lost are presumed dead, officials said.

The figure could rise as authorities reconcile its list of missing residents with the tally of Vale employees who are not accounted for.  

New before and after photos reveal the horrific devastation of a dam burst in Brazil that has left at least 37 people dead and hundreds still missing

Firefighters resumed their search for the missing on Sunday, hours after it was suspended over fears that a second dam could rupture. 

Fears about another dam burst in Brumadinho triggered evacuation sirens in the town before dawn, but by afternoon officials said there was no risk and the evacuation was called off.

State fire department spokesman Pedro Aihara initially said 24,000 people would need to be evacuated, but later revised the number down to 3,000.

The current death toll already exceeds a 2015 tailings dam collapse at an iron ore mine less than 60 miles to the east, belonging to Samarco Mineracao SA, a Vale joint venture with BHP Group.

The Samarco dam break spilled five times the mining waste into a more remote region, killing 19 people, burying a small village and contaminating a major river. 

It was Brazil’s worst environmental disaster on record, affecting 24,000 people. 

The dam burst at Vale’s Corrego do Feijao mine in southeastern Brazil unleashed a torrent of mud on Friday, burying the mining facilities and nearby homes in the town of Brumadinho

It reached the nearby community of Vila Ferteco as well, burying buildings to their rooftops and cutting off roads as it consumed everything in its path 

Nearly 300 people are still missing, with the list of those unaccounted for being constantly updated. Most of those lost are presumed dead, officials said

Nearly 300 people are still missing, with the list of those unaccounted for being constantly updated. Most of those lost are presumed dead, officials said

Anger was mounting in Vale as residents questioned why they didn’t hear any warning sirens on Friday.   

Caroline Steifeld, who was evacuated, said she heard warning the alarm on Sunday, but no such alert came on Friday, when the first dam collapsed.

‘I only heard shouting, people saying to get out. I had to run with my family to get to higher ground, but there was no siren,’ she told the Associated Press.   

Renato Maia, a 44-year-old salesman whose best friend’s daughter remained missing, fled his home in panic early Sunday morning. His family was stuck for hours at a police barricade on the outskirts of town, stewing at the situation.

‘We’re all fed up with Vale and this is really adding to the tension,’ he said. ‘It was a huge tragedy and now we don’t know what might come next.’

Firefighters help a cow get out of the mud during the search and rescue work of the victims of the horrific dam burst 

Firefighters help a cow get out of the mud during the search and rescue work of the victims of the horrific dam burst 

Firefighters resumed their search for the missing on Sunday, hours after it was suspended over fears that a second dam owned by the same company could rupture

Firefighters resumed their search for the missing on Sunday, hours after it was suspended over fears that a second dam owned by the same company could rupture

Aerial view of a rail bridge taken down by a mudslide after the collapseof a dam at an iron-ore mine belonging to Brazil's giant mining company Vale

Aerial view of a rail bridge taken down by a mudslide after the collapseof a dam at an iron-ore mine belonging to Brazil’s giant mining company Vale

Others have only just begun to process the trauma of what they witnessed. 

‘I saw all the mud coming down the hill, snapping the trees as it descended,’ said Simone Pedrosa. ‘It was a tremendous noise.’   

Pedrosa, 45, and her parents dashed to their car and drove to the highest point in the neighborhood.

‘If we had gone down the other direction, we would have died,’ she said. ‘I cannot get that noise out of my head,’ she said. ‘It’s a trauma I’ll never forget.’  

The Brazilian government has ordered Vale to halt operations at the Corrego do Feijao mining complex. On Sunday, courts nearly doubled to $2.9billion the amount of Vale assets frozen in anticipation of damages and fines.

Fears about another dam burst in Brumadinho triggered evacuation sirens in the town before dawn, but by afternoon officials said there was no risk and the evacuation was called off

Fears about another dam burst in Brumadinho triggered evacuation sirens in the town before dawn, but by afternoon officials said there was no risk and the evacuation was called off

State fire department spokesman Pedro Aihara initially said 24,000 people would need to be evacuated, but later revised the number down to 3,000

State fire department spokesman Pedro Aihara initially said 24,000 people would need to be evacuated, but later revised the number down to 3,000

A van is seen in half buried in the mud after a dam collapse near Brumadinho in Brazil on Saturday, a day after the dam burst

A van is seen in half buried in the mud after a dam collapse near Brumadinho in Brazil on Saturday, a day after the dam burst

A rescue worker tries to reach a cow that is stuck in a field of mud, two days after the dam collapse in Brumadinho

A rescue worker tries to reach a cow that is stuck in a field of mud, two days after the dam collapse in Brumadinho

Vale Chief Executive Fabio Schvartsman apologized without taking responsibility in an television interview on Saturday.

‘Apologies to society, apologies to you, apologies to the whole world for what has happened,’ he said. ‘I don’t know who is responsible, but you can be sure we’ll do our part.’

The cause of the dam burst remains unclear. Recent inspections by a German auditor TUV SUD and Vale did not indicate any problems with the dam, the companies said.

But federal prosecutor Jose Adercio Sampaio told Reuters on Saturday that state and federal authorities have failed to apply more stringent regulation to the hundreds of tailings dams around the country.

Firefighters carry a body in a basket, rescued from the mud, after a dam collapse near Brumadinho on Saturday 

Firefighters carry a body in a basket, rescued from the mud, after a dam collapse near Brumadinho on Saturday 

Anger was mounting in Vale as residents questioned why they didn't hear any warning sirens on Friday after the dam burst and consumed much in its path

Anger was mounting in Vale as residents questioned why they didn’t hear any warning sirens on Friday after the dam burst and consumed much in its path

An aerial view shows a partially destroyed house after the dam collapsed on Saturday. Hundreds are feared dead 

An aerial view shows a partially destroyed house after the dam collapsed on Saturday. Hundreds are feared dead 

The Folia de S.Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that the dam's mining complex was issued an expedited license to expand in December due to 'decreased risk'

The Folia de S.Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that the dam’s mining complex was issued an expedited license to expand in December due to ‘decreased risk’

The Folia de S.Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that the dam’s mining complex was issued an expedited license to expand in December due to ‘decreased risk.’ Conservation groups in the area had alleged that the approval was unlawful.

New Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his government would do everything it could to ‘prevent more tragedies’ like Brumadinho, yet the far-right leader campaign on promises to deregulate Brazil’s mining industry.  

Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored the lack of environmental regulation in the country, and many promised to fight any further deregulation.

Marina Silva, a former environmental minister and presidential candidate, said such tragedies should be deemed ‘heinous crimes’ and that Congress should bear part of the blame for not toughening regulations and enforcement.

‘All the warnings have been given. We are repeating history with this tragedy,’ she told The Associated Press.

‘Brazil can’t become a specialist in rescuing victims and consoling widows. Measures need to be taken to avoid prevent this from happening again.’ 

Relatives of the missing become emotional as they await to hear any news on their loved ones following the dam burst 

Relatives of the missing become emotional as they await to hear any news on their loved ones following the dam burst 

Volunteers pass bottles of water for people affected after the dam burst. Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored the lack of environmental regulation in the country, and many promised to fight any further deregulation

Volunteers pass bottles of water for people affected after the dam burst. Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored the lack of environmental regulation in the country, and many promised to fight any further deregulation

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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