The tragedy in Capitólio turns one yr outdated: what has modified in tourism – 01/08/2023

A yr in the past, Brazil noticed surprising photos of an enormous block falling on boats, killing 10 and injuring 27 others, in Lago de Furnas, in Capitólio.

Since then, native tourism on this vacation spot, about 300 kilometers from Belo Horizonte it has by no means been the identical (and this, sure, is sweet information).

Often known as Mar de Minas, Lago de Furnas is the most important physique of water within the state, protecting greater than 1,400 km² and protecting 34 municipalities, together with Capitólio.

Till the day of the accident, January 8, 2022, the most well-liked excursions had been motorboat rides between the partitions of these canyons that emerged with the development of the Furnas hydroelectric plant, inaugurated in 1963.

Nevertheless, at present, the tour there may be extra inflexible.

Security buoys close to the partitions of the Capitólio now forestall ships from approaching

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

Geologically the place could be very unstable, however with planning it’s doable to proceed with the operation of the attraction. Joana Sánchez, professor of geology on the Federal College of Goiás

For her, the dangers in Capitólio weren’t solely geological, but in addition because of the extra of motorboats in that space in steady pure transformation.

“[A segurança] It’s important to begin with whoever manages the attraction, you do not must be simply the vacationer who’s on trip. It’s the administration that should take note of these dangers, however we all know that it’s going to not be within the brief time period,” Joana assesses.

Joana Sánchez during the geological assessment at Capitólio - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive

Joana Sánchez in the course of the geological evaluation at Capitólio

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

The report tried to contact the present tourism secretary of Capitólio, Lucas Arantes Barros, however till this textual content was closed there was no return. The house is open for an replace.

Our heard experiences from some guests who had been there just lately.

What vacationers say

“We’ve got by no means felt insecure. In the present day the safety is way larger and there’s no longer any method [dos paredões]”, says Daniela Rauch, who spent New 12 months’s Eve in Capitólio along with her boyfriend Filipe Padilha Rodrigues.

The couple Daniela Rauch and Filipe Padilha Rodrigues recently in Capitólio - Personal archive - Personal archive

The couple Daniela Rauch and Filipe Padilha Rodrigues just lately at Capitólio

Picture: private archive

Daniela says that journey actions within the canyons, reminiscent of abseiling, have been suspended since final yr’s accident, however because the spouses themselves recall, tourism in Capitólio is just not restricted to navigating the canyons.

There are a thousand issues to do there, like waterfalls, zip strains, and ATV rides. There’s a lack of promoting for these different companies. Daniela

Gláucio Oliveira praises the closure of points of interest and actions on wet days.

Geological assessment work in Capitólio - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive

The go to opened in mid-March final yr

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

“On the primary day, we tried to do the speedboat journey, which was canceled on account of storms. We solely managed to go to two points of interest,” says Gláucio, a São Paulo native from Ribeirão Preto who just lately traveled along with his spouse and 6- one month outdated and three yr olds.

Tools, examine and spacing

One other change he factors out is the usage of security units that, after the accident, have develop into obligatory, reminiscent of a helmet and life jacket.

“I used to be very calm, in any other case I would not take my household there. It is price a go to,” Gláucio recommends.

Gláucio Oliveira and his family, recently, in Capitólio - Personal archive - Personal archive

Gláucio Oliveira and his household just lately in Capitólio

Picture: private archive

He says he was safer as a result of he thought the speedboat pilots had been extra conscious of the brand new measures, such because the minimal distance from partitions, marked by a barrier with buoys, close to the crash website.

However all that is the results of the work of the group chargeable for the evaluation of the geological-geotechnical danger of the Furnas dam, arrange by Funep (Basis for the Assist of Analysis, Schooling and Dissemination) of Unesp.

For the reason that 2022 incident, 9 geologists, together with Joana Sánchez, have labored on pointers to mitigate geological danger in Capitólio, together with each day monitoring of actions within the area.

Among the many measures adopted are the obligatory use of security gear and the entry of 1 boat at a time, which now doesn’t cease close to the partitions, however solely going across the lake and leaving once more to let one other boat enter .

Geological assessment work in Capitólio - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive

Geologists make periodic assessments of the canyon partitions

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

Joana additionally remembers that the engineers monitoring the work of the geologists beneficial putting protecting screens on the rocks, to be able to forestall additional landslides. Nevertheless, this nonetheless will depend on the provide.

A extra sustainable use of tourism is required [em Capitólio]it wasn’t simple at first. Joanna

Geological assessment work in Capitólio - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive

Wall research have additionally indicated the necessity to set up protecting screens

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

The geologist believes that the subsequent step can be to deliver this examine to the Ministry of Tourism with pointers for vacationer use in Brazilian locations with geological potential, reminiscent of evaluating the state of affairs each 5 years, in locations with much less danger, such because the Chapada dos Veadeiros, in Goias.

“Within the case of Capitólio, this needs to be quarterly, with an evaluation of the quantity of rain, the dry interval and the motion of the blocks and their levels of fracture,” he explains.


As usually occurs in lots of sectors of the nation’s society, the tourism trade appears to study solely after a tragedy.

And there isn’t any approach to not see the incident as a watershed in nationwide tourism.

As Professor Joana Sánchez recounts, shortly after the Capitólio accident, the identical workforce of geologists was known as by the Fernando de Noronha Marine Nationwide Park to evaluate the geological dangers within the Pernambuco archipelago.

Geologist Joana Sánchez works on cleanup work in Fernando de Noronha - Ion David/Disclosure - Ion David/Disclosure

Geologist Joana Sánchez works on cleansing up in Fernando de Noronha

Picture: Ion David/Disclosure

The end result was an arduous job that included interventions such because the elimination of stones and the elimination of unfastened blocks on the entry paths to the Porcos and Abreus bays, in addition to the cleansing of the vertiginous stairs resulting in Praia do Sancho.

For the reason that incident, we now have observed adjustments in a number of locations in Brazil. There was an incentive to proceed these research [geológicos]. Joanna

The work carried out in Capitólio, coordinated by the president of the Brazilian Federation of Geologists, Fábio Reis, is extraordinarily vital for guiding vacationer use in different locations of the type in Brazil, reminiscent of Serra da Canastra (MG), Cânions do Xingó (SE) and the Presidente Figueiredo waterfalls (AM).

“To date, everybody has accepted our options, however we do not have the facility to legislate,” Joana assesses.

Geologist Joana Sánchez works on cleanup work in Fernando de Noronha - Ion David/Disclosure - Ion David/Disclosure

A piece just like that of Capitólio was carried out at Fernando de Noronha

Picture: Ion David/Disclosure

shocked economic system

Based on Agência Minas, between the top of December and the start of January 2023, Capitólio had a 90% resort occupancy fee.

For this official information portal of the federal government of that state, the numbers are because of the implementation of the “Reviva Capitólio – Viva o Mar de Minas” plan, with round 80 safety actions within the ecotourism and nautical excursions sectors.

However throughout her discipline research within the area, Joana realized that rather more nonetheless must be completed.

“The inhabitants continues to be very scared. The native economic system is way down and higher publicity can be wanted [do destino]”, recommend.

Because the vacationer Daniela Rauch remembers, the vacationer commerce of Capitólio suffered, economically, extra with the 2022 accident than in the course of the months of closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniela Rauch, in Capitólio - Personal Archive - Personal Archive

Daniela Rauch, in Capitolio

Picture: private archive

Conceived by the Minas Gerais Secretariat of State for Tradition and Tourism, the vacation spot’s repositioning plan proposes “larger agility to supply assist to the inhabitants within the occasion of an emergency”.

Among the many measures there may be additionally a partnership with the Navy Police of Minas Gerais, the Navy, the Federal Site visitors Police, the municipalities and native communities of Capitólio, São José da Barra and São João Batista da Glória.

Even so, visiting Capitólio nonetheless causes some apprehension, because of the waterfalls, as a river’s waters are recognized to all of the sudden rise and go by means of narrower rocky corridors.

Safety buoys next to the walls of Capitólio now prevent ships from approaching - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive - Joana Sánchez/Personal archive

Modifications within the routine of tourists and people working close to the partitions

Picture: Joana Sánchez/Private Archive

“To get to the Tucanos Valley you undergo a stretch with very slim partitions. It is stunning, however I have not discovered a really secure atmosphere like within the canyons. You’ll be able to stand again a bit,” describes Matheus Padilha Vinhal, who spent the top of yr in Capitólio with three different associates.

As for the well-known navigation within the canyon, this miner from Uberlândia says that the go to went in a short time, “it was simply time to take some footage”, and that swimming is now not allowed.

“It’s a spectacle of nature that I like to recommend and on this stretch we really feel assured that we’ll benefit from the journey,” he concludes.

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