Saturday, 05 January 2013 02:42
RIO DE JANEIRO: Heavy rains triggered mudslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro, leaving hundreds of people homeless and at least two dead, with more rainfall due to heighten the misery, officials said Friday.
Several rivers in Rio state's northern region overflowed and turned into torrents, destroying a bridge and leaving entire neighborhoods strewn with large tree limbs and other debris.
Ensuing landslides decimated shoddily-built homes, demolished streets and destroyed cars, many of them sinking head first into the muddy waters.
Under record temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), residents rushed to salvage their belongings from homes flattened by trees uprooted in the water and mudslides.
On Thursday alone, 212 millimeters (8.5 inches) of rain fell on the northern district of Xerem, more than half of monthly rain totals, according to meteorological services.
Rio Civil Defense Secretary Sergio Simoes said 2,075 people in risk areas were evacuated to municipal buildings, schools and churches, while ...