Brazil: A Subterranean River Discovered as Protests Aim the Stop the Dam
By Hwaa Irfan
In November 2010, voices were raised around the earth in protest against the building of the Belo
Monte Dam Complex on the International Day of Action. This year those and more voices were raised again while the corporate press remains focused on the global economic crisis, the U.S. debt crisis, the mixed messages from Libya, and hurricane Irene’s approach on the U.S., ignoring that hurricane Irene had wiped out 90% of homes in the Bahamas. But this year the voices were in tune with the earth.
From the 19th – 22nd voices were raised with the earth changes as a battalion of bulldozers, chain saws and guns set in motion to deplete the word’s pharmacy further to make way for the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil. In Brasilia, there were songs and dance in praise of the Amazon. In London, Paris, and San Francisco too voices were raised bringing to attention what the world stands to lose, having lost 20% of the Amazon in 40 years alone.
If the dam is completed, not only would it be the third largest dam in the world, but it would destroy 100,000 acres of rainforest, and displace 40,000 indigenous peoples of Brazil losing untold genetic resources for future food, health, and medicine. Consisting of 7 dams, the Belo Monte Dam Complex would upset the delicate ecosystem of the Xingu and Madeira Rivers presenting the globalized concepts of power lines, gas and oil pipelines, large scale mining, aluminum smelters and shipping channels along the roads of the same unsustainable mentality
that has brought the global economic system to a grinding halt, sending thousands into poverty. Millions of acres of rainforest will be flooded, and the level of activity will increase the green-houses gases and methane, poisoning a sustainable future.
The great irony is that as the powers that be have plowed into the Amazon to exploits its wealth in unforgiveable measures, the Amazon revealed its bounties further – a 6,000 km river, 4km below the Amazon River! The same length as each, the subterranean river has been named the Rio Hamza.
Beginning under the Andes, Rio Hamza flows slower than the Amazon all the way to the Atlantic
Ocean. Led by the scientists, Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel and Valiya Hamza of the Department of Geophysics at Brazil’s National Observatory, it was found that Rio Hamza flows vertically through rock then changed vertically, and offers an explanation as to the low salinity of at the mouth of the Amazon River. How the rivers interconnect is another question, and if that balance is disturbed,
the consequences might be greater than considered if at all turning the Belo Monte Complex Dam into a very expensive disaster!
Jha, A. “Underground River ‘Rio Hamza’ Discovered 4km Beneath
the Amazon.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/26/underground-river-amazon