Brazil floods, landslides: Death toll soars 105
Published: 11:25 AM, 18 February 2022 Updated: 12:48 PM, 18 February 2022
The death toll from floods and landslides after torrential rains in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has climbed to 105. More than 400 people have been displaced. Rescue work is still underway. So far, 24 people have been rescued. However, state Governor Cláudio Castro feared the death toll “could rise further”.
The Rio de Janeiro state government says floods and landslides have killed at least 105 people so far. Many homes in the city of Petropolis were destroyed. It is not clear how many people are still trapped in the landslide.
Describing the incidents of floods and landslides as a “difficult time”, Rubens Bomtempo, the mayor of Petropolis, said rescue efforts were underway and it was not “immediately clear” how many people were missing.
Relatives of the victims have been waiting since last Tuesday, but many are still missing. The Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor’s Office says “35 people have been reported missing”.
The disaster began last Tuesday in the country’s city of Petropolis with 25.8 centimeters (more than 10 inches) of rain in just three hours. The area has not seen much rain in the previous 30 days.
In the picture published on social media, many houses and cars were seen washed away in the landslide. Petropolis and surrounding areas are flooded. As shown on local television, many houses are covered in mud. Rescuers have not yet arrived.
Rio de Janeiro Governor Cláudio Castro told a press conference that Petropolis had received the heaviest rainfall since 1932. “The forecast did not indicate that there would be so much rain,” he added.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said in a tweet that he had instructed the government to provide adequate assistance to the victims. A three-day mourning has been declared in the state in memory of the victims.
The country’s meteorological office said “more rains were expected” this week. Heavy rains fell in the southeastern part of Brazil earlier this year. The State of Minas Gerais received heavy rainfall, especially in early January. At the end of the month, a total of 40 people were killed in floods and landslides in the state of Sao Paulo.