Wednesday, 18 April 2018

World Cup Brazil 2018- Baixo Guandu - Day 2 & 3 Cancelled

You could call it World Cup fever.  This is when the weather turns spiteful whenever the World Cup rolls into town.  Two days of intermittent showers have grounded us.  We did not even go up the hill on Monday because:

We went  up the hill on Tuesday which was interesting because the dirt road was muddy and the driver of our van probably had rally driving experience judging by the way he was drifting around corners and gunning the motor up steep sections.  We then sat around for several hours before the rain arrived.  The day was cancelled and then a ten minute window opened up just long enough for a bunch of pilots to bomb off and get chased by the rain and wind making for interesting entertainment.

This photo was taken by Dmitry Korolev during the first task.  

This is the Rio Doce river which suffered a catastrophic environmental disaster in 2015 when a BHP Billiton tailings dam ruptured spilling a large volume of toxic sludge into the Santarem river valley.  The tailings contain extremely high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury.  The toxic mud reached Govenador Valadares within days where a 'State of Public Calamity' was decreed in response to the water shortage in the city.  The entire river is rendered toxic leading to water shortages with more than two hundred municipalities affected.  The spill reached the Atlantic ocean within weeks. The toxic mud is spreading across the Espírito Santo coast, where cities closed down access to beaches.  It will take decades for the heavy metal levels to return to normal and even longer for the river ecology to recover (if ever).

Those responsible will pay fines of $20 billion excluding personal liability claims and the cost of containment and rehabilitation.  Brazillian prosecutors have filed homicide charges against 21 people including top execs of the mining companies so far.

It is kind of weird to see these wide expanses of river without any people near the banks or a even single boat floating on its waters.


Mads Syndergaard said...

Thanks for the follow-up to the environmental disaster. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the river looks the same now as it did before the event. There's too much silt in the water, probably because most of the lands adjacent have been cleared for farming (used to be jungle everywhere). This is also a disaster, albeit an older one.

Ryan said...

Awesome photo.

I'm a fan of heavy metal, but only the kind that comes out of speakers, not the kind that flows down rivers. Glad to hear the Brazilian government is going after mine so aggressively.

Hope the weather improves!