It has been more than five days since two dams collapsed and Brazilian authorities still don’t have much to say about the cause of the disaster. They have also struggled to recover the bodies of the residents and workers swept away by the waters.
The disaster, which happened north of Rio de Janeiro, has kept rescue teams busy as they search for survivors that were swept away by the flood. The teams are now using special equipment and dogs to find the residents that were caught off guard by the floods and mudslide.
Authorities confirmed earlier today that they had found two more bodies and with the news, the death toll is now at four. There are currently 28 people missing, 13 of them mine workers, who were in the area when the collapse happened.
The collapse left destruction 60 miles away and brought a mudslide along, slowing down the efforts from rescue teams. The disaster has led to calls by government officials, residents and environmentalists, who want more regulations for the mining industry.
Residents affected by the mudslide and floods have criticized the company in charge of the mine because they have not said much since the collapse. One of the executives from the company flew to the country today to meet with officials and local authorities.
The residents who lost their homes don’t know what’s going to happen next. Authorities revealed that almost 600 people were staying in hotels or with family and friends. The company is paying for accommodations and relocation but the residents affected by the disaster complain that they have not told them what they plan to do with the repairs or replacement of the homes.
One of the residents said that the company has not told them how long they can stay or where they’ll go after, his village was destroyed by the floods.
An employee of the company asked for patience to those who are currently staying at hotels while they determine what they will do next. The efforts seem to have taken a toll on some members of the rescue teams. Duarte Junior, the mayor of Mariana, was hospitalized earlier today for what his wife said could be a heart attack after working long hours. He remains under observation and doctors revealed that it was likely caused by stress and fatigue.
Authorities are also investigating if troubles at the mine were ignored. Two years ago, a report warned the government and company, saying that the dams could be vulnerable and that a collapse could happen. The company said recently that the place was inspected four months ago and that their licenses were up to date.
The disaster could cost the company millions in repairs and cleanups. Several villages and areas were destroyed by the mudslide and waters that came at a strong force. Rivers are also being tested to see if there is any contamination by the waste from the mines, which contains chemicals.