Heavy rains in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state cause 70 deaths

09:18, January 05, 2010      

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Heavy rains have caused the death of more than 70 people in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro within a week, authorities said on Monday.


A sanitation worker wades through a heavily flooded road in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 4, 2010. The continuous rainfall in recent days inundated many areas of the city. (Xinhua/AE)

In Angra dos Reis, a popular tourist attraction on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro with beautiful beaches, landslides have destroyed houses and a hotel. About 50 bodies have already been recovered, but searches are still going on and the number of deaths may increase.


A motorcycle rider wades through a heavily flooded road in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 4, 2010. The continuous rainfall in recent days inundated many areas of the city. (Xinhua/AE)

A ship and two motorboats belonging to the Brazilian Navy have participated since Friday in the search for victims of the landslides in the region of Angra dos Reis.

Firefighters, Civil Defense personnel and a large number of volunteers are also involved in the extensive search for the victims.


A cycler wades through a heavily flooded road in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 4, 2010. The continuous rainfall in recent days inundated many areas of the city. (Xinhua/AE)

Nearly 1,000 people have lost their homes or been evacuated as there is still risk of more landslides. Many of them are now sheltered in schools and other places provided by the local government.

Meanwhile, about 200 people were forced to leave their homes in Cascadura, north of Rio de Janeiro, after heavy rains flooded the city on Dec. 30 and 31.


Buses move through a flooded road in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jan. 4, 2010. The continuous rainfall in recent days inundated many areas of the city. (Xinhua/AE)

Roads in Rio have also been damaged by the rains. According to the National Department of Transport Infrastructure, 18 sections of the Rio-Santos highway were partially or fully closed to traffic because of landslides or erosion.

Source: Xinhua
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