01.03.05. Environmental and infrastructural aspects | Brazil

01.03.05. Environmental and infrastructural aspects | Brazil

30 Mar 2022

Brazil was the only country in the Americas that is among the world’s ten countries with the highest number of people affected by disasters between 1995 and 2015. Most incidents are related to rain/flooding-related disasters (Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2013). From 2008 to 2013, 40.9% of Brazilian municipalities suffered at least one natural disaster. Around 2,376 cities were affected by gradual flooding, abrupt floods and/or landslides in that period. Gradual flooding alone left 1,406,713 people homeless or displaced. Almost 50% of the 5,570 city councils around the country had no resources to deal with these occurrences (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, 2019e). In the last four years, two large environmental accidents happened in the state of Minas Gerais, which were associated with crime. The first was in 2015: a dam disruption in the city of Mariana led to 19 deaths, communities were destroyed, rivers were polluted and the vegetation was devastated (Brazil Agency (EBC), 2018). A little more than three years later, another dam disruption occurred in the same state, but in the city of Brumadinho. This disaster led to 179 accounted deaths and 134 people disappeared. A “muddy sea” invaded the region destroying communities and the entire city of Brumadinho and put forest areas at risk of contamination. Both environmental disasters were under the responsibility of a company called Vale do Rio Doce (Brazil Agency (EBC), 2019).


Brazil Agency (EBC). (2018, November 5). Tragédia Mariana. Agência Brasil. http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/geral/noticia/2018-11/tragedia-de-mariana-completa-3-anos-veja-linha-do-tempo

Brazil Agency (EBC). (2019, February 25). Tragédia em Brumadinho. Agência Brasil. http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/geral/noticia/2019-02/tragedia-em-brumadinho-completa-um-mes-com-134-desaparecidos

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. (2019e). Perfil dos municípios brasileiros 2013. IBGE. https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/visualizacao/livros/liv86302.pdf

Federal University of Santa Catarina. (2013). Atlas brasileiro de desastres naturais 1991 a 2012.