Avenida Itaorna

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Praia de Itaorna is on a geological fault and over the years the nuclear power plants of Angra 1, 2 and 3 have been built there.

In the last week of August 2020, open TV showed images of earthquakes in the Recôncavo Baiano region, which reached up to 4,6 on the Richter Scale. The images of merchandise falling from the shelves of a supermarket in this area of ​​the earthquakes were startling. In the city of São Miguel das Matas, the houses affected by the tremors had several cracks.

The geological faults when reactivated are the main responsible for the earthquakes.

Although the Paraíba Valley and the North Coast of the State of São Paulo are about 2.000 km away from this region, there is a common factor between them, which is the northeast direction in which the geological faults are aligned, even if they represent geological compartments and distinct seismogenic zones.

I studied this bundle of geological faults aligned in the northeast direction in my doctoral thesis in 1993. At the time of this study, in an attempt to explain possible hydrogeochemical anomalies existing in the groundwater of the Taubaté Aquifer System, located in the Paraíba Valley, the work of HASUI et al. (1982) drew a lot of attention, an excerpt being extracted and reproduced here.

According to this work, “in a study of geology, tectonics, geomorphology and regional seismology of interest to the nuclear power plants at Praia de Itaorna (RJ) the current tectonic conditions seem to be residual, with a discreet accommodation of the blocks intensely moved in the Tertiary. This accommodation, judging by the geomorphological and seismic data, is not generalized but is concentrated in an area of ​​greater incidence, characterizing several seismogenic zones. These zones of tectonic and seismogenic instability have been considered as seismo-tectonic provinces.

[…] The seismogenic zone of Cunha has the highest number of epicenters. It is also the one that, due to its relief, denotes having suffered greater tectonic movement during the Tertiary.”

Keeping the due reservations mentioned, about the geological compartments and distinct seismogenic zones, for the regions of Recôncavo Baiano, Vale do Paraíba, Litoral Norte and adding in this scenario, Praia de Itaorna in Angra dos Reis (RJ), we could think, of in a very simplified way, that all these regions would be located on a large avenue, with alignments of geological faults in a northeast direction.

In the 70s and 80s of the last century, the question that was asked was whether the military government installed by the 1964 coup was concerned with geological studies of this type, which warned of seismogenic zones, since in Praia de Itaorna were built, along over the years, the Angra 1, 2 and 3 nuclear power plants.

For the current military government, installed by the 2018 electoral coup, which is very similar to the previous one and disregards scientific data, it is never too much to remember that Itaorna in the Guarani language means “rotten stone” or “soft stone”.

“If people don't have deep ties with their ancestral memory, with the references that support an identity, they will go crazy in this crazy world that we share.” (Ailton krenak).

*Heraldo Campos He holds a PhD in Sciences from the Institute of Geosciences at USP and a postdoctoral degree from the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation, School of Engineering of São Carlos, USP.


HASUUI, Y.; ALMEIDA, FFM de ; MIOTO, JA; MELO, MS de. 1982. Regional geology, tectonics, geomorphology and seismology of interest to nuclear power plants at Praia de Itaorna. Monograph of the Technological Research Institute – IPT/Publication IPT nº 225. São Paulo, SP. 149 p., 4 appendices. 


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