94 killed in heavy rainfall, landslides in Brazil

17 February 2022, 10:58 am | Updated: 07 December 2023, 12:50 pm

94 killed in heavy rainfall, landslides in Brazil
Photo: collected

Rescue workers raced against the clock Wednesday searching for any remaining survivors among mud and wreckage after devastating flash floods and landslides hit the picturesque Brazilian city of Petropolis, killing at least 94 people.

Streets were turned into torrential rivers and houses swept away Tuesday when heavy storms dumped a month's worth of rain in three hours on the scenic tourist town in the hills north of Rio de Janeiro.

With 35 people still reported missing, fears that the death toll could climb further sent firefighters and volunteers scrambling through the remains of houses washed away in torrents of mud, many of them in impoverished hillside slums, reports BSS/AFP.

It is the latest in a series of deadly storms to hit Brazil in the past three months, which experts say are being made worse by climate change.

The state government said at least 24 people had been rescued alive, as it reported the latest death toll Wednesday evening.

Using dogs, excavators and helicopters, rescue workers were urgently searching for more before it was too late, with the Rio Public Prosecutor's office reporting that the 35 missing people had been registered on its missing persons list.

Around 300 people were being housed in shelters, mostly in schools, officials said. Charities called for donations of mattresses, food, water, clothing and face masks for victims.

Last month, torrential rain triggered floods and landslides that killed at
least 28 people in southeastern Brazil, mostly in Sao Paulo state. There have also been heavy rains in the northeastern state of Bahia, where 24 people died in December.

Petropolis and the surrounding region were previously hit by severe storms
in January 2011, when more than 900 people died in flooding and landslides.

Category : International