Photo Credit: IDF
IDF search and rescue mission preparing to leave for Brazil

Israel’s search and rescue delegation departed for Brazil on Sunday to help search for survivors of the collapsed mining dam in Brumadinho, following a conversation between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro.

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“Search and rescue teams will undertake extensive efforts to assist in using equipment, including advanced cellular location, naval sonar, and drones,” the IDF said in a statement. “In preparation for the mission, the members of the delegation were given the necessary supplies, including vaccines and medical equipment.”

At least 37 were reported dead – a revised death toll down from 40 – with hundreds more missing in Friday’s collapse of a 280-foot central dam owned by the largest mining company in Brazil, Vale SA. Nearly 24,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the area. A second dam is being monitored about 50 meters from the site, with concerns that this too might burst.

A massive mudslide buried the Vale cafeteria while workers were eating their lunch before it went on to overwhelm nearby buildings, vehicles and roads, according to the BBC.

Vale has been ordered by the Brazilian government to halt its operations at the Corrego do Feijao mining complex, the site of the collapse, and local courts have frozen $1.6 billion in the company’s assets to pay for the damage, according to Reuters. The cause of the rupture is still unclear.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.