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Rescuers search for survivors after Brazilian floods, landslides kill 94 people

After flash floods and landslides struck the picturesque Brazilian city of Petropolis, killing at least 94 people, rescue workers sought survivors in the mud and wreckage on Wednesday in a battle against time. ..

On Tuesday, in a scenic tourist town in the hills north of Rio de Janeiro, when a heavy storm rained a month’s worth in three hours, the streets turned into heavy rivers and houses were washed away.

Thirty-five people were still reported missing, and firefighters and volunteers scrambled the wreckage of a house swept away by a torrent of mud for fear of further deaths.

It is the latest in a series of deadly storms that have hit Brazil in the last three months, experts say it is exacerbated by climate change.

The state government said at least 24 people were rescued alive after reporting the latest death toll on Wednesday evening.

Rescue workers continued their urgent search using dogs, excavators, and helicopters before it was too late, and the Rio Public Prosecutor’s Office reported that 35 missing persons were on the missing person list.

Approximately 300 people were held in shelters, mainly schools, according to officials. Charities have called for donations of mattresses, food, water, clothing and face masks for the victims.

Wendell Pio Lorenco, a 24-year-old resident, walked down the street with his TV in his arms and headed for a local church in search of a shelter.

He said he was trying to save some of his possessions after spending a sleepless night helping him find the victims.

“I found a girl buried alive,” he said.

“Everyone says it looks like a war zone.”

Governor Claudio Castro said almost the same after visiting the scene.

“It looks like a scene of war. It’s incredible,” he said, adding that it was the worst rain since 1932.

He praised rescue workers for managing “to save many people before it was too late.”

In a video posted on social media from the rain on Tuesday, the streets of Petropolis, the 19th-century summer capital of the Brazilian Empire, are filled with heavy floods that hit almost everything on the road, including cars and trees. Was there.

Many stores were completely flooded by rising water erupting through the streets of the historic city center, leaving behind a jumbled pile of overturned cars.

Officials said more than 180 firefighters and other rescue workers were being helped by 400 soldiers sent as reinforcements to respond to the emergency.

The city hall has declared a “state of emergency” in a city of 300,000 people located 68 km (42 miles) north of Rio.

The city council declared a three-day memorial service for the victims.

――’Tragedy’ ――

Petropolis is a popular destination for tourists to escape the summer heat of Rio.

The area is known for its lush streets, stately houses, the Imperial Palace (today’s museum) and the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

According to the mayor’s office, the storm on Tuesday caused 258 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in three hours. This is about the same as all rainfall in the previous month.

According to officials, the heaviest torrential rains have passed, but milder rains are expected to continue and fall for several days.

President Jair Bolsonaro said on Twitter that he was keeping up with the “tragedy” on his official trip to Russia.

“Thank you for the words of solidarity with the people of Petropolis,” he told President Vladimir Putin after meeting Russian leaders.

“May God comfort the (victim’s) family.”

Brazil has been hit by heavy rains since December, causing a series of deadly floods and landslides.

According to experts, the heavy rain of the rainy season is increasing due to the effects of the La Niño phenomenon, which is the periodic cooling of the Pacific Ocean, and climate change.

Global warming increases the risk and intensity of floods due to extreme rainfall, as the warm atmosphere holds more water.

Heavy rains caused floods and landslides last month, killing at least 28 people in southeastern Brazil, primarily in the state of São Paulo.

Heavy rains also hit northeastern Bahia, killing 24 people in December.

Petropolis and its surrounding areas were hit by a violent storm in January 2011 when more than 900 people died in floods and landslides.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/710028/Rescuers-scour-for-survivors-after-Brazil-floods-l Rescuers search for survivors after Brazilian floods, landslides kill 94 people

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