Brazilian geological service points out 13 high-danger areas in São Francisco river canyons

Monitoring was intensified in the region after accidents with seawalls that occurred in Lake Furnas, in Capitólio, Minas Gerais

Joel Silva/Fotoarena/Estadão Content

Rock slide site in Capitólio, Minas Gerais

After the accident with walls in Furnas lake, in CapitolMinas Gerais, the geological service of Brazil carried out an assessment in some places in the country and pointed out 13 areas of high danger in locations in the canyons of the San Francisco river. Until then, the place had never been evaluated. You canyons do Velho Chico are located on the border between the states of Sergipe, Bahia and Alagoas. There are 60 kilometers of rock walls up to 100 meters high. The structure has different types of rocks, in some places they are sedimentary, with more than 300 million years, in others they are metamorphic rocks, which are more structured and are more than 800 million years old. According to geologists, the entire area of ​​the São Francisco River must be monitored at least once a year.

The disaster in Capitólio also affected tourism in Xingó. Many people were afraid to visit the place. Patrícia Vitor, Secretary of Tourism of Canindé, says that the authorities have mobilized to reassure the population about the safety of the place. “Very quickly, we all joined forces to inform, to show tourists that our destination is safe and that we are very concerned with prevention to protect everyone and especially life. The damage initially was already some calls that were received by local enterprises, accommodation, lodging facilities, tours, tour operators, who received withdrawal calls, people with fear ”, she reports.

Now, experts and students from the Federal University of Sergipe are preparing a program to carry out an assessment. The university’s geology researcher, Júlio César Vieira, says that the objective of the work is to identify possible problems as soon as possible. “Identify faults, discontinuities, other geological features that may pose a risk. These risks may be underground, they may be buried, they may not be perceptible to the people who are present there. So we anticipate the fact that anything that might happen,” he says.

For this work, the use of technology will be fundamental. In addition to drones, equipment will be used that bring meticulous details of the area to be studied in the laboratories in more depth. The commander of the Civil Defense of Sergipe, Luciano Queiroz, highlights the need to be aware of the situation of the rocks. “This is our intention, to manage the risk, to map these areas of possible risks here on the canyon walls. We know that it has different characteristics from the Capitol, but we need to do this sectorization of areas, of possible risks, so that, if it occurs, we can, in the best possible way, prepare our contingency plans and respond to possible disasters here in this locality”, he explains.

It is almost impossible to prevent the rocks from collapsing as they are susceptible to natural impacts, such as the action of wind, rain and even gravity itself. However, what can and should be done by the authorities is to isolate the risk areas so that the population does not frequent these places.

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