Brazil mining flood could devastate environment for years

Stephen Eisenhammer – Reuters, 11/15/2015

The collapse of two dams at a Brazilian mine has cut off drinking water for quarter of a million people and saturated waterways downstream with dense orange sediment that could wreck the ecosystem for years to come.

Nine people were killed, 19 are still listed as missing and 500 people were displaced from their homes when the dams burst at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil on Nov. 5.

The sheer volume of water disgorged by the dams and laden with mineral waste across nearly 500 km is staggering: 60 million cubic meters, the equivalent of 25,000 Olympic swimming pools or the volume carried by about 187 oil tankers.

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