Divers are still searching for three tourists and day travelers who have been reported missing. Shortly after the disaster, the number of missing people reached 20, but most of them can be located via their phones. The victims were in boats that passed under a cliff and were buried under fallen rocks. Citizens were also injured by the waves that caused the rock wall to collapse.
The accident occurred on Saturday in a reservoir in the state of Minas Gerais, more than 300 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro. Since the construction of the dam was completed in 1963, the waters of this area have attracted tourists. The seriously injured were taken to the medical centers in the city of Passos.
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Local media shows pictures of falling rocks. Under the broken rock, three boats filled with people enjoying the water in the tourist area of the municipality of Capitolio. Other photos show passersby warning just before the rock falls that “many rocks have fallen” and urging passengers on other boats to stay away from the wall.
It is still not clear why the rock suddenly separated from the cliff. According to the firefighters, heavy rain has fallen on the area in recent days. However, the photos show that the rock ended up atop at least two boats. The waves that caused the avalanche in the lake also affected other small boats.
President Jair Bolsonaro retweeted some of the video footage, stating that “as soon as the unfortunate disaster occurred, the Brazilian Navy moved to the site to rescue the victims and transport the wounded.”
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