Toxic water in Brazil - level 3
The Brazilian government has labelled this scene an environmental catastrophe. After two dams burst at an iron ore mine, thick orange sediment is now washing into the ocean along the coastline. As much as 25,000 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of sediment has flowed more than 300 miles (483 kilometres).
Eleven people died in the disaster earlier this month. The Brazilian President has fined the mining company more than 44,000 pounds, but some believe that doesn't go far enough and protested in fishing boats.
The mining company Samarco has set up temporary barriers in an attempt to contain the mud flow and had been digging canals this week to guide the sediment out to sea.
Samarco says the mud isn't toxic, but biologists and environmental experts disagree. It has been more than a fortnight since the disaster and the long-term effects on the environment and the people who live there are yet to be fully understood.
Difficult words: label (to call; to put into a category), dam (a barrier which holds water), ore (a material from which a metal can be extracted), sediment (small pieces which can be carried by water), fine (to order somebody to pay money for doing something bad), temporary (existing only for a limited amount of time), attempt (to try), fortnight (two weeks or 14 days).
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