Tag Archive | Rio de Janeiro

Oil spills from Petrobras pipeline into Brazil coastal area

Oil Spill Alert

Oil spilled from a pipeline linking a main Atlantic Ocean terminal with a refinery near Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said.
The spill contaminated a coastal wetland area and leaked into the ocean, a spokesman for the union representing employees at the refinery said.
The narrow coastal region where the spill occurred is in Rio de Janeiro’s Costa Verde or “Green Coast” – one of Brazil’s most beloved tourist regions and home to one of the last stands of the endangered Atlantic-Forest ecosystem.
Petrobras, as the company is known, said 600 liters (3.77 barrels) of oil leaked from the pipeline, 50 liters of which reached the ocean.
The oil spilled from a 40-inch (1.01-meter) diameter ORBIG pipeline that runs 123 kilometers (76 miles) from Angra dos Reis, where the company unloads some of its largest tankers, to the Duque de Caxias Refinery (REDUC), where much of the oil is turned into gasoline, diesel and other fuels.
REDUC, in suburban Rio de Janeiro, can process about 242,000 barrels of crude oil a day. REDUC is also a hub for pipelines linking oil terminals on Rio’s Guanabara Bay, oil and gas fields in the offshore Campos Basin and refineries further inland.
While the spill is relatively small, it is the latest in a series of refinery, pipeline and offshore-oil-platform accidents to hit the indebted and cash-strapped company.
Union officials and analysts have raised concerns that a giant corruption scandal may be hampering Petrobras’ maintenance operations. Arranging for such work has been complicated after the company banned more than 20 of Brazil’s major contractors from bidding for Petrobras projects after they were found to be involved in a price-fixing, bribery and political kick-back scheme.
Petrobras said the leak was caused by an attempt to steal fuel. The ORBIG pipeline is normally used to carry crude oil.
Also on Friday, a fire at a Petrobras fuel and crude pipeline pumping station in Atibaia, in Sao Paulo state, took two hours to control, the company said in a statement.
On Saturday, June 13, an attempt to make an illegal connection to what thieves thought was a water pipe, led to the a rupture in a gas pipeline near REDUC, the union said. No on was hurt in any of the accidents.
Courtesy of news.yahoo.com

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fish Kill Alert

Die off of fish in Araruama Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Two trains collide injuring 140; Many rushed to hospital in Brazil

Train Crash Alert

Transport authorities in Rio de Janeiro have promised to investigate a late night train crash.
Two trains smashed into one another late Monday night outside the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, though no serious injuries have been reported.
At least 140 people were injured, with 129 being rushed to hospital, according to Brazilian media reports.
However, Brazil’s O’Globo newspaper has reported all but 22 of the injured are expected to leave hospital soon. At the time of writing, emergency workers were still at the scene of the crash – a train station in the Mesquita municipality.
The accident reportedly took place after one train crashed into another that had stopped at the station.
Rio de Janeiro state transport head Carlos Roberto Osorio has urged the public to await the results of an investigation into the incident before drawing conclusions.
According to RT, he stated the situation at the station was “normal” until the crash. “The preliminary reports I have say the train that crashed was not new, but was still in service and was not going to be replaced,” he stated.
Courtesy of Telesurtv

20 Tons of fish washing up, ‘agonizing and dying’ is a ‘mystery and concern’ in Guanabara Bay, Brazil

Fish Kill Alert

The unusual situation is harshly affecting the local fisherpeople’s life, while authorities have finally started an investigation to find the cause of the problem.

For reasons as yet unknown, huge numbers of fish from the same species have been dying on the tourist beaches of Ganabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over the past month, an unprecedented situation that is scaring the population.

The municipal cleaning service have found 20 tons of shads, a particular species of fish similar to sardines and herrings, as well as four sea turtles.

Surprisingly, “the tests proved that it is not a matter of chemical or toxic contamination of water,” declared the oceanograph David Zee to AFP, from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).

The fisher people have complained of being forced to buy fish to resell, as their weekly wage has been cut by more than half, and have blamed the activities of the giant national oil company, Petrobras.

“The fisherman aren’t going to poison the water as it’s their lifeline. This is not because of fishermen. Why are [the authorities] not checking the activities of the petrochemical industry? Why are they not checking the refineries? It is very clear that we are witnessing a crime against the environment. What we need to know is who is responsible and what products are being used,” said Alexandre Anderson, president of the Men & Women of the Sea Association to AFP.

Two years ago, the Brazilian general attorney accused the Petrobras company of environmental crime, for contaminating the bay and one of the rivers.

As only one species seems to be involved so far, another possible cause would be thermal pollution: the water would be too warm, therefore diminishing the solvability of oxygen, something the shads are very sensitive to, explained Zee. According to the scientist, this phenomenon would be aggravated by the fact that the circulation and change of water is more difficult in this part of the bay.

Five specimens of shads have been sent for examination on Tuesday to the department of biology of the UFRJ, and the results should be known within the next week.


Violent Rain Storm Sweeps Over Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Storm Alert
Brazil Weather

A violent lightning and rain storm has swept across Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and knocking out power in some neighborhoods.

Sirens warning residents of the danger of mudslides sounded in several areas of the city.

Each year across Brazil, hundreds of people die in mudslides, almost all happening in ramshackle slums often precariously built up steep hillsides.

Rio’s domestic airport shut down for about an hour during Thursday’s storm as did ferries that take commuters from Rio to the neighboring of Niteroi.

The storm passed after 90 minutes, but there was no word on when power would be restored for tens of thousands of residents.