Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brazil death toll from floods, mudslides rises to 64

Reuters: Rescue crews on Saturday intensified the search for victims at a plush Brazilian beach resort ravaged by mudslides and flooding that have killed at least 64 people in three states. Firefighters waded through mountains of mud and sifted through the remains of a lodge and homes that were destroyed in the early hours of Friday when a hillside collapsed in the luxury beach resort of Angra dos Reis, removing 35 bodies, authorities said.

Angra dos Reis, the nearby island of Ilha Grande and other towns on the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro state are a magnet for local and foreign tourists over the New Year's holiday.

Heavy rain also left several cities without power in the state of Sao Paulo, where six tourists died in a mudslide in the town of Cunha. At least three people died because of mudslides in Juiz de Fora, a city in Minas Gerais state.

In Rio de Janeiro state, where Brazil has most of its oil reserves and has long been the nation's flagship tourist destination, the death toll climbed to 55, authorities said. "The weather is improving, which helps us with the search, but we won't rest as long as we suspect that there are more bodies underneath the remains," said Colonel Jerri Andrade of Angra's firefighters corps and who is overseeing the search….

Sunset at Angra dos Reis, shot by JessicaRapha, who has released it into the public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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