Dozens still missing after mudslides in Brazil kill at least 94 –

Brazilian authorities confirmed that at least 94 people were killed after floods and landslides swept homes and cars in the city of Petropolis, but many are feared to remain stranded.

Rubens Bomtempo, mayor of the German-influenced mountain town, hasn’t even offered an estimate of the number of people missing as relief efforts continue.

“We don’t know the full scope yet,” he said Wednesday. “It was a difficult day, a difficult day”.

More than 24 hours after the deadly flood early Tuesday, survivors were looking for their missing loved ones.

The Rio de Janeiro prosecutor’s office said Wednesday evening that it had drawn up a list of 35 people whose whereabouts have not yet been determined.

In images posted on social media, it was seen that the flood swept cars and houses on the streets and the waters swirled around the city.

The video shows two buses crashing into a flooding river as their passengers come out of the windows, trying to get to safety. Some did not reach the banks and disappeared.

On Wednesday morning, household appliances and cars piled up on the streets as homes were buried in mud.

Named after a former Brazilian emperor, Petropolis has been a refuge for people fleeing the summer heat and for tourists who want to explore the so-called “imperial city”.

Its prosperity has also attracted people from the poorest areas of Rio.

Its population grows randomly, climbing the sides of the mountains, now lined with small cluster dwellings. Many are in areas unsuitable for facilities and made more vulnerable by deforestation and inadequate drainage.

State firefighters said Tuesday, just over 10 inches of rain fell in three hours, nearly as much as the previous 30 days combined.

Rio de Janeiro Governor Claudio Castro said at a press conference that the rains were the worst that Petropolis had seen since 1932.

“Nobody could have predicted such heavy rain,” he said.

According to forecasters, more rain is expected for the whole week.

Castro added that about 400 people were left homeless and 24 people recovered alive.

They are lucky and few in number.

“It’s just ‘Help! of my brother! Help ! God! “Resident Rosilene Virginia told The Associated Press that a man comforted her.” It is very sad when people ask for help, there is no way to help, nothing can be done. It is a sense of loss. hopeless and oppressive “.

The affected mountainous region has seen similar disasters in recent years, including one that has killed more than 900 people.

In the following years Petropolis presented a plan to reduce the risk of landslides, but the works proceeded very slowly. The plan, presented in 2017, was based on an analysis that determined that 18% of the city’s land area was at high risk of landslides and floods.

Local officials say more than 180 people living in risk areas are housed in schools. More equipment and manpower will help Thursday’s rescue.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his solidarity during his visit to Russia.

Petropolis City Hall has declared three days of mourning for the tragedy.

Southeastern Brazil has been plagued by heavy rain since the beginning of the year, with over 40 deaths recorded, with incidents occurring in the state of Minas Gerais in early January and in the state of São Paulo at the end of the same month.

Source: Wales Online

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