At least 18 people have died in landslides and flooding after heavy rains fell in a mountainous area in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. There are fears that the number of victims will increase when the SAR team is deployed to explore the affected area, Wednesday (16/2).
The state fire department said late Tuesday more than 180 troops were deployed in the disaster-hit Petropolis region. The region was hit by a similar disaster in 2011 that killed hundreds of people.
The department said the region received 25.8 centimeters of rain for three hours Tuesday (15/2). The high rainfall was almost equivalent to the rainfall that fell during the previous 30 days in total in the region.
Videos posted on social media showed cars and houses being dragged away by landslides and flooding in the city of Petropolis and its neighboring districts.
The Petropolis city government said in a statement that heavy rains caused “a large number of incidents and casualties”. The statement also revealed that rescue and recovery efforts were continuing.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is on his way to Russia, said on Twitter that he instructed his ministers to provide immediate support to the victims. “May God give fortitude to the family members of the victims,” he wrote. [ab/uh]