Earth Science News  





.
SHAKE AND BLOW
Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

by Staff Writers
Teresopolis, Brazil (AFP) Jan 16, 2011
Brazilians on Sunday prayed for victims of devastating floods near Rio de Janeiro after the death toll from the natural disaster rose to at least 610 and was predicted to climb again.

Emergency workers in the disaster zone, in the Serrana region just north of Rio, were overwhelmed by the body count. Refrigerator trucks had to be brought in to store corpses.

Workers transporting bodies said they feared the overall death toll could top 1,000 as rescuers reached outlying hamlets.

President Dilma Rousseff declared the three days of mourning, government news agency Agencia Brasil reported. Rio de Janeiro state authorities said their state will observe a full week of mourning starting Monday.

As of late Saturday, the death toll stood at 610 people, with the worst-hit towns being Teresopolis, Nova Friburgo and Petropolis, civil defense officials said. Outlying villages also reported deaths.

An estimated 14,000 people were assisted by rescue workers or lost their homes in the Serrana area towns hardest hit about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from coastal Rio, civil defense figures showed.

The single hardest hit town was Nova Friburgo, where 274 people were killed. Nearby Teresopolis had 263 dead, 55 were killed in Petropolis and 18 lost their lives in Sumidouro, officials said.

"I think in the end we'll see more than 1,000 bodies," said a funeral worker in Teresopolis, Mauricio Berlim. "In one village near here, Campo Grande, there were 2,500 homes and not one is left standing."

Authorities also made an urgent appeal for donations of blood, bottled water, food and medicine.

At least four refrigerated trucks were parked out the front of an overflowing makeshift morgue inside a Teresopolis church.

At the town's cemetery, a dog curled up at the grave site of his mistress, a woman named Cristina Maria de Santana, refusing to leave even though she had been buried two days earlier, workers told AFP.

Body recovery efforts have been hampered by tons of mud that, in some cases, have cut villages off and made them accessible only by helicopter -- but flights were limited by persistent rain that hindered visibility in the rough terrain to just a couple hundred meters (yards).

At least a dozen remote hamlets remained out of touch, and one witness reported seeing a group of people buried in their car by a river of reddish mud.

The disaster, which media called the worst tragedy of its kind in Brazil's history, struck sleeping families Wednesday before dawn.

Seasonally heavy rains were suddenly intensified by a cold front, dumping a month's worth of precipitation in just eight hours.

Water, food and electricity were lacking in some areas of the Serrana, with authorities struggling to deliver supplies over fully or partially collapsed roads. Telephone communications were unreliable though progressively being restored.

A municipal official in Teresopolis, Solange Sirico, told Brazilian television there was a risk of epidemics breaking out as bodies decomposing in the tropical heat mingled with water runoff.

Sirico said the 1,200 doctors working in the town were overwhelmed, and medical supplies were needed.

"Also, in all the mountain region, there is a danger of snakes and scorpions," she added.

National guardsmen and soldiers were sent to the region to reinforce police and prevent looting.

Forecasters warned that the wet weather was likely to last into next week.

"It will keep raining until at least next Wednesday in the Serrana region of Rio de Janeiro. We are predicting a light but steady rain, which is not good because it could lay the conditions for more landslides," said the head of the national weather institute, Luiz Cavalcanti.

Forecasters have blamed the unusually wet weather on the La Nina phenomenon that has increased rainfall in southeast Brazil.

In downtown Nova Friburgo, a layer of mud blanketed the plaza in front of a white church. Bulldozers were brought in to help clear the area.

"It's a total calamity. The town is finished. It was a tourist city, now it's finished," said local resident Zaquequ Pereira Gonacalves, 37.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
SHAKE AND BLOW
Wild floods hit thousands more Australians
Sydney (AFP) Jan 16, 2011
Australia's flood crisis shifted to the country's far south on Sunday, with more than 1,400 homes swamped by a record deluge as the toll mounted in the reeling northeast amid scenes of devastation. Dozens of towns braced for unprecedented river levels in Victoria state, where emergency officials told AFP more than 1,400 homes were waterlogged and 3,500 people had fled, just days after the fl ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


SHAKE AND BLOW
Fear, confusion as Haiti tent camp shuts

Sri Lanka mine fears as floods recede

USGS unveils California megastorm scenario

Struggling Haiti faces crucial week in politics

SHAKE AND BLOW
Method Discovered To Determine When Metals Reach End Of Life

Launch of Murdoch's The Daily delayed: report

Google buys eBook Technologies

Direct Observation Of Carbon Monoxide Binding To Metal-Porphyrines

SHAKE AND BLOW
Overfishing blamed for ocean reef loss

Lake Erie Hypoxic Zone Doesn't Affect All Fish The Same

Virus called suspect in salmon deaths

FAO unveils new guidelines on fishing discards

SHAKE AND BLOW
Greenpeace slams BP over Russia deal to explore Arctic

Mountain Glacier Melt To Contribute 12 Centimetres To World Sea-Level Increases By 2100

Warming to devastate glaciers, Antarctic icesheet - studies

Russia reaches first stranded fishermen

SHAKE AND BLOW
Germany shuts 934 bird farms, piggeries after food scare

Chickens modified to halt bird flu

Miscanthus Has A Fighting Chance Against Weeds

Lameness - A Common And Painful Disease In Calves

SHAKE AND BLOW
Tsunami survivor escapes deadly Australian floods

Disease threat for Sri Lanka flood victims

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

SHAKE AND BLOW
ECOWAS defence chiefs to meet on Ivory Coast

French strike killed French hostage in Mali: Qaeda

2.5 million face starvation in Somalia, PM tells UN

Indian sailors jailed in Somalia over illegal charcoal

SHAKE AND BLOW
Climate tied to rise, fall of cultures

Impact Of Traffic Noise On Sleep Patterns

Humans First Wore Clothes 170,000 Years Ago

Publication of ESP study causes furor


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement