Thursday November 5, 2015 a dam burst above the town of the Bento Rodregues in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. A veritable river of mud and mine tailings flowed through the town displacing the 600 inhabitants. The iron ore mine where the dam was holding back the mine tailings is owned by BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA.
Video showed many if not all homes destroyed by the mudslide. A car was lifted onto the top of a building which had its roof destroyed. The destruction was throughout the valley.
In a joint statement on the Samarco Mineração Facebook page, Peter Poppinga, executive director of Ferrous Vale, and Jimmy Wilson, Iron Ore president of BHP Billiton, said that our “priority right now is to understand the extent of the consequences of breaking the dams and how we can provide additional support.”
At least two are confirmed and up to 16 have been reported dead due to the dam failure. The cause of the dam breach currently unknown.
Yemen suffered through another cyclone this week. The island of Socotra was hit directly on November 8, 2015 and Cyclone Megh reached Yemen mainland shores on the 10th. This is now back to back cyclonic activity in this area of the Arabian Sea. Megh was a strong Category 2 or Category 3 storm. Cyclone Chapala pass over Yemen just a week ago. This tweet from @StuOstro compares the two storms.
Thinking is increasingly moving to believing that the destruction of Russian Metrojet flight 9268, which broke apart and crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, was not due to a mechanical malfunction.
Investigators of the Russian plane crash in Egypt are “90 percent sure” the noise heard in the final second of a cockpit recording was an explosion caused by a bomb, a member of the investigation team told Reuters on Sunday.” (tinyurl.com/qzjtzjo)
After first downplaying the idea of terrorism, Russian sources are now indicating that they are leaning towards an inside job that downed the aircraft.
Investigators still have to complete their review of the plane’s black boxes and continue looking of any residues or other evidence of an explosion.
Russian Metrojet flight 9268 broke up in flight over Egypt 31 October 2015 killing all 224 on board. It left Sharm el Sheikh (SSH) on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula at 05:49 hours local time (03:49 UTC), and contact was lost at about 06:13 hours. Though Russian authorities have been quoted as saying that there was no mechanical or pilot failure, the cause is still under investigation.
After flooding southern Portugal, the storm continued marking its territory into Spain this Monday and Tuesday. Waves over 6 meters continued to wash over the coastal areas. Salvador García, from Las Acacias restaurant in Malaga is quoted as saying in “the 33 years I’ve been working here I’ve never seen anything like it” (tinyurl.com/o4k3wy5). Water runs through establishments while people sit eating. Northwest of Barcelona, four retires drowned when floodwaters overwhelmed riverbanks and swept through a retirement home.
Flooding in the Algarve region of Portugal has claimed the life of an 80 year old man. He was found dead in his submerged car on Monday. The waters have destroyed roads and swamped houses in this picturesque area of southern Portugal. The popular tourist location was inundated with water levels up to the ceilings in bars, restaurants, and dwellings. The cleanup begins as the rains head toward Spain.