Capitólio rockfall

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Capitólio rockfall
Marinha reforca operacoes de buscas por vitimas do acidente em Capitolio (MG).jpg
Search-and-rescue efforts after the rockfall
Capitolio rockfall
Date8 January 2022
Timec.12:30 BRT (UTC−03)
Location Capitólio, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Coordinates 20°38′49″S46°15′56″W / 20.64694°S 46.26556°W / -20.64694; -46.26556 Coordinates: 20°38′49″S46°15′56″W / 20.64694°S 46.26556°W / -20.64694; -46.26556
Deaths10
Non-fatal injuries32

On 8 January 2022, a rockfall occurred in a canyon of Furnas Lake in Capitólio, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A cliff face collapsed onto tourist pleasure boats on the lake, killing 10 people and leaving 32 others injured. [1]

Contents

Background

Furnas Reservoir seen from the International Space Station FurnasReservoir01.JPG
Furnas Reservoir seen from the International Space Station
Cliffs along Furnas Lake with speedboats and bathers Canyon no Lago de Furnas.jpg
Cliffs along Furnas Lake with speedboats and bathers

Furnas Lake, a reservoir created by Furnas Dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, attracts tourists looking for speedboat rides and diving in the region. The canyons at the site are formed by walls more than twenty metres (66 ft) tall. In an interview with GloboNews , Lieutenant Pedro Aihara, a spokesman for the Fire Department of Minas Gerais, explained that the formation of the site is of sedimentary rocks and, therefore, more susceptible to the action of wind and rain. [2] At the end of the morning of 8 January 2022, the same day as the accident, the Civil Defense of Minas Gerais had issued an alert for heavy rain in the Capitólio region with the possibility of "water head", warning members of the public to "avoid waterfalls during the rainy season". [3]

Collapse

The rockfall occurred around 12:30 (local time) at a canyon of Furnas Lake in the municipality of Capitólio, with four tourist boats nearby. [4] About 70 to 100 people were at the site, which was isolated and closed. [3] The Minas Gerais Fire Department initially reported that a "waterspout" near the rocks had caused the rockfall. However, according to Gustavo Cunha Melo, a specialist in risk management, the waterspout may have acted as a trigger for the landslide, but it was not necessarily the cause of the problem. He opined the rock would have fallen off due to erosion in any case. A fire department spokesman said the rock formation at the site and the rains in the region made it easier for the rockfall to occur, and that the way the rock fell aggravated the situation. [4]

The Air Operations Battalion, in addition to divers, were mobilized to work at the site. More than 40 soldiers were dispatched to the region and an aircraft started to search. The Furnas River Police deployed search and rescue teams to the site. [2] All of the victims were taken to hospitals in the region; three were taken to São José da Barra, and two more who were seriously injured and had fractures in the upper limbs were taken to Piumhi and Passos in ambulances in the municipality. Another stable patient had a trauma to the face, while others had minor injuries. [2]

Victims

Thirty-four people were involved in the rockfall. [4] Ten deaths were confirmed by the Fire Department by 9 January. [5] Of the ten deaths, nine were adults and one was a teenager. [6] Thirty-two other people were treated, most with minor injuries. Twenty-seven were attended to and released, twenty-three of them from Santa Casa de Capitólio and four from Santa Casa de São José da Barra. Four remain hospitalized. [4]

Investigation

The Brazilian Navy said they would investigate the incident. [4]

The specialist in risk management and safety Gerardo Portela reported in an interview with CNN Brasil that images published on social networks showed that the occupants of the vessels were warned by people around about the risk of the structure collapsing, but the initiative to move away from the region of risk was slow to happen: "These last images reveal that there was time to prevent people from being hit, there were visual signs, there were probably noises, because pieces of rock were lying on the water, it's regrettable". Portela also reported that there was "unpreparedness": "we observed that the boats were overcrowded, with the bow pointed at the risk location, it should be positioned with the bow on the opposite side in case of a possible need to abandon the area. Succession of failures, people farther away were realizing the risk, but they, even being professionals, could not get the right attention". [7]

Reactions

A video began circulating on social networks showing the disaster, and its veracity was confirmed. [2] [4] The governor of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, lamented the collapse on social networks: "We are currently suffering the pain of a tragedy in our state, due to heavy rains, which caused the loosening of a wall of stones at Furnas Lake in Capitólio. The Government of Minas is present from the first moments through the Civil Defense and Fire Department". Zema also expressed solidarity with the families of the victims: "I sympathize with the families in this difficult time. We will continue to act to provide the necessary support." [8] [9] [10] President Jair Bolsonaro called the incident a "regrettable disaster". [11]

Related Research Articles

Minas Gerais State in Southeastern Brazil

Minas Gerais is a state in Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product (GDP), and the fourth largest by area in the country. The state's capital and largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a major urban and finance center in Latin America, and the sixth largest municipality in Brazil, after the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Brasília and Fortaleza, but its metropolitan area is the third largest in Brazil with just over 5,800,000 inhabitants, after those of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Nine Brazilian presidents were born in Minas Gerais, the most of any state. The state has 10.1% of the Brazilian population and is responsible for 8.7% of the Brazilian GDP.

Boa Esperança, Minas Gerais Place in Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Varginha Place in Southeast, Brazil

Varginha is a municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Varginha stands out as one of the major centers of commerce and coffee production in Brazil and the world. The city is a center for export of coffee draining most of the production of the south of Minas Gerais, making the grain trade with several countries. The city is equidistant from the three largest metropolitan areas in Brazil. The city is close to Rodovia Fernão Dias. The city is served by Maj. Brig. Trompowsky Airport.

Aécio Neves

Aécio Neves da Cunha is a Brazilian economist, politician and former president of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He was the 17th Governor of Minas Gerais from 1 January 2003 to 31 March 2010, and is currently a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. He lost in the runoff presidential election against Dilma Rousseff in 2014.

Southeast Region, Brazil Region in Brazil

The Southeast Region of Brazil is composed of the states of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It is the richest region of the country, responsible for approximately 60% of the Brazilian GDP, as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais are the three richest states of Brazil, the top three Brazilian states in terms of GDP. The Southeast of Brazil also has the highest GDP per capita among all Brazilian regions.

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Três Pontas is a municipality located in southern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. It's a city with about all streets of urban zone paved and services of water and sewage to all people. The municipality has about 57 thousand inhabitants and a population density of 78,12hab/km2. The road MG-167 is the only paved road that passes through the city, but the Rodovia Fernão Dias (BR-381), is less than 50 km from the city centre passing through Varginha.

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Capitólio

Capitólio is a Brazilian municipality located in the southwest of the state of Minas Gerais. Its population as of 2020 was 8,663 people living in a total area of 522 km2. The city belongs to the meso-region of Sul e Sudoeste de Minas and to the micro-region of Passos.

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São José da Barra

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References

  1. "All 10 victims of Brazil canyon collapse are identified - including 14-year-old boy". The Independent. 11 January 2022. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Deslizamento de pedras atinge lanchas em Capitólio (MG) e deixa ao menos um morto; veja vídeo". O Globo (in Portuguese). 8 January 2022. Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  3. 1 2 "MG: Rocha desaba em Capitólio e atinge lanchas; bombeiros confirmam 1 morte". UOL (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "VÍDEO: deslizamento de pedras atinge embarcações com turistas em Capitólio, MG". G1 (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  5. "Wall of rock collapses on Brazil's Furnas lake, kills 10". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  6. "All 10 victims of Brazil canyon collapse are identified - including 14-year-old boy". The Independent. 11 January 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  7. ""Sucessão de erros", diz especialista em segurança sobre tragédia em Capitólio". CNN Brasil (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  8. "Zema lamenta desabamento de cânion em Capitólio: 'Sofremos hoje a dor de uma tragédia'". G1 (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  9. Miller, Andrew (8 January 2022). "Brazil rock formation collapse kills at least 2, injures 15, caught on video". Fox News. Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  10. "Wall of rock falls on boaters in Brazilian lake; 5 die". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  11. "'Lamentável desastre', diz Bolsonaro sobre queda de rocha em Capitólio (MG)". noticias.uol.com.br (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2022.