Dam in Brazil bursts – level 3
A burst dam in Mariano, southeast Brazil, is thought to have killed at least 15 people. A nearby town has been devastated by mudslides, obstructing access to the region by officials. At least 45 people are still feared missing.
Owned by Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton and the Brazilian company Vale, the dam was built to hold back water and residue from mining operations, a mixture that can often be toxic.
Footage shows destroyed villages, derelict houses and abandoned cars tossed on their sides.
Around 600 people are being evacuated to higher ground from Bento Rodrigues, a village about four miles beneath the dam that burst. Authorities said the flood had also reached another village further down the hill and that inhabitants there were also being evacuated.
The dam’s owner, Brazilian miner Samarco, said in a statement it hadn’t yet determined why the dam burst or the extent of the disaster. The residents in the region can only await answers for the cause and outcome of this disaster.
Difficult words: devastate (to destroy), obstruct (to block), residue (leftover), derelict (in a very poor condition), abandoned (without people), tossed (thrown), inhabitant (a person who lives somewhere).
What do you think happened to the dam?
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