Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) Jan 4, 2013
Heavy rains triggered mudslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro, leaving hundreds of people homeless and at least two dead, with more rainfall due to heighten the misery, officials said Friday.
Several rivers in Rio state's northern region overflowed and turned into torrents, destroying a bridge and leaving entire neighborhoods strewn with large tree limbs and other debris.
Ensuing landslides decimated shoddily-built homes, demolished streets and destroyed cars, many of them sinking head first into the muddy waters.
Under record temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), residents rushed to salvage their belongings from homes flattened by trees uprooted in the water and mudslides.
On Thursday alone, 212 millimeters (8.5 inches) of rain fell on the northern district of Xerem, more than half of monthly rain totals, according to meteorological services.
Rio Civil Defense Secretary Sergio Simoes said 2,075 people in risk areas were evacuated to municipal buildings, schools and churches, while 438 others lost their homes.
He warned against further landslides in the mountainous region located 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Rio, as forecasters warned that more rain was expected in the coming days.
At least two people, including a nine-year-old child, were reported missing.
One of the deceased, who was not identified, was swept away by a deluge in heavy-hit Xerem.
"We must reduce vulnerable areas," said Simoes. "People build their homes too close to rivers or mountain slopes.'
Rains also ravished the towns of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Mangaratiba.
Reinforcements were boosting the ranks of firefighters in the mountainous regions of Petropolis, Teresopolis and Nova Friburgo.
National Integration Minister Fernando Bezerra traveled to Rio to meet with Governor Sergio Cabral and discuss further actions to take. They were set to tour the affected areas.
In January 2010, 10 days of torrential rains left 900 people dead and 400,000 homeless in the same mountain area.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|