News World South America Extreme weather and mudslides leave hundreds dead in Brazil

Extreme weather and mudslides leave hundreds dead in Brazil

The rain keeps coming in Rio, where makeshift camps house those left homeless by floods and mudslides.Photo: AP
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Weeks of torrential rain have caused a spate of mud slides that have claimed more than 240 lives in the past month of unrelenting downpours.

In the latest tragedy only one member of a family of seven survived a mud fall in Paraty, a city to the south of hard-hit Rio de Janeiro

“We have more than 70 homeless families. We are providing shelters and renting hostels for these people,” said Paraty mayor Luciano Vidal.

“We were expecting the rain, we put out alerts, but unfortunately this house collapsed in the Ponta Negra neighbourhood. Only one of the children was saved.”

In just one day, Paraty received 322 millimetres of rain, the average for six months.

Rio de Janeiro has been drenched by the weeks-long extreme weather event, with landslides and flooding killing some 240 people in roughly one month in the northern Petropolis area, authorities said on March 23.

Mayor Vidal said mudslides blocked streets and isolated parts of his city, and entire neighbourhoods were without electricity in the colonial tourist destination onthe Atlantic coast.

The town declared a state of emergency as more rains were forecast.

The nearby town of Angra dos Reis, also a tourist destination, was also hit by heavy rainfall, and at least one child died in a landslide. Rescuers are searching for more than ten missing persons in that area, authorities said.