|Cataguases, Minas Gerais|
|• Total||492 km2 (190 sq mi)|
|Elevation||169 m (554 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (UTC-2)|
|Area code(s)||+55 32|
Cataguases is a city located in the southeastern part of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is mainly an industrial centre (textile, metallurgy, clothes) with a strong influence of coffee plantation in its early history (19th century). The population was estimated at about 62,000 inhabitants in 1996 and is expected to be at about 66,000 in 2001. According to the census conducted by IBGE in 2010,a population of 70210 inhabitants.
The town was somewhat famous in the 1920s because of the Brazilian cinema pioneer Humberto Mauro and the appearance of a generation of writers around the short-lived Revista Verde. Humberto Mauro shot there some films that earned him a good reputation nationwide. He later became famous for masterpieces like Braza Dormida (Sleeping Fire) and O Descobrimento do Brasil (The Finding of Brazil) and was a reputed Tupi language scholar.
Industrialisation changed the town quite a lot and caused some of its citizens to become very rich in the 1920s and 1930s. As a result the city centre was remodeled accordingly to the ultimate architecture styles. Oscar Niemeyer (Architect), Cândido Portinari, Djanira and Emeric Marcier (Painters) are some of the famous Brazilian artists who left contributions there at that time.
After three decades of wealth, the town lost its prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. The economic crisis and the changes due to the modernisation of the industries provoked high unemployment rates and depreciation of salaries, reducing the town's wealth.
In 2003 the town became unfortunately famous throughout the country in the aftermath of an ecological accident caused by the spilling of chemical waste that affected the brook Cágado and the rivers Pomba and Paraíba do Sul, threatening the water supply of more than 20,000,000 Brazilians (including the state of Rio de Janeiro).
Cataguases experiences a tropical wet and dry (or savanna) climate (Aw under Köppen climate classification). Temperatures are high (above 18°C (64.4°F)) all over the year, and low temperatures lasting for a whole day are rare, and generally only occur in the dry season. The wet season starts in September and goes until May, while the dry season goes from May to September. Floods are not uncommon in the town, and generally there is one per year, in December, January or February. On the other side, during the dry season Rio Pomba has considerably less water than in other periods, and some people have respiratory diseases related to low air humidity.
|Climate data for Cataguases|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.8
|Average low °C (°F)||21.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||241.2
|Source: World Climate|
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