Death Toll Has Reached 28 in Petropolis

Landslides in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News

(Photo courtesy of Rio Times)

Heavy rains in Petropolis in Brazil have caused flooding and landslides, leading to a death toll that has reached 28, according to the Secretariat of Civil Defense. The city of Regiao Serrana, which is in the mountains of north Rio, has been experiencing rainfall that has devastated the city.

Missing people were still being searched for as of Thursday morning. They are making use of search dogs and military personnel in the search process. Four people are missing in one of the landslides.

Firefighters, army, and volunteers concentrated most of their search and rescue efforts in the Boca do Mato and Alto Independencia areas on Wednesday due to whole families being buried beneath the landslides. In one case, seven members of a family were buried, including children and teenagers.

Sergio Simoes told the Rio Times that the main problem that search and rescue operators are experiencing is the instability of the land, with the soil being too wet and the mud too thick and deep. He estimates that in the Boca do Mato area there are still 10-15 missing. The city government has stated that 1,463 people are sheltiering in 27 different support units that are scattered throughout the neighborhoods that are worst.

As of Wednesday, the rains have stopped, and the Rio state warning system was no longer in a state of emergency.

This particular region of Rio is very mountainous and can be vulnerable to landslides and flooding when it rains. It is the same region that was devastated by Brazil’s worst recorded natural disaster in 2011 where landslides killed more than 900 people and displaced 30,000.