Brazil: Rains, Mudslides In Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paolo - 378 Dead
Brazil Mudslides 2011: Heavy Rains And Mudslides In Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paolo Leave 378 Dead | Teresopolis, Petropolis and Novo Friburgo Hardest Hit
Some of worst rains and mudslides to hit Brazil in 4 decades has killed 378 people, destroyed homes and left thousands homeless Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paolo, primarily in the towns of Teresopolis, Petropolis and Novo Friburgo.
Entire villages were flooded and hillside neighborhoods collapsed in the mountainous cities of Nova Friburgo, Teresopolis and Petropolis, about 40 miles north of Rio. At least 356 people died and about 2,700 lost houses in the area, Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral said. In Sao Paulo state, floods killed 23 people, about 1,900 lost their homes, the state’s civil defense department said.
Rescue efforts are underway and President Dilma Rousseff announced $40 million in emergency aid for the mudslide hit areas.
The catastrophe struck before dawn Wednesday, as families were asleep in their homes.
"One woman tried to save her children but her two-month-old baby was carried away by a torrent like a doll," sobbed Angela, a 55-year-old resident of Teresopolis who saw the destruction unfold around her.
Heavy tropical rains are common at this time of year in southeastern Brazil. But they were suddenly intensified by a cold front, bringing weeks' worth of water crashing down in a matter of hours.