Fourteen killed from landslides in Brazil


via Wikimedia Commons

Landslides are becoming a major problem throughout Brazil.

In the past few months, heavy rain throughout Brazil has caused a rush of flash floods and landslides. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second most populated city, experienced inclement weather during April. On March 23rd, 2022, authorities found at least 14 people dead, including a mother and her seven kids, one of which is still alive. The flooding mainly occurred in Brazil’s Southerneastern region and has led to local authorities calling for the shutdown of a nuclear power plant in the area.

The rain in Rio de Janeiro state killed eight children in total and left another five missing. The state also reported the deaths of a mother and six out of seven of her children, ages two, five, eight, ten, fifteen, and seventeen. They were buried when a landslide plowed through their home in the Ponta Negra neighborhood of Paraty. The sole surviving child, age fourteen, was found and hospitalized. On Sunday, the mayor of Angra dos Reis, a city located around 150 miles south of Rio de Janeiro, asked the federal government to shut down Brazil’s only nuclear power plant, saying nearby roads had been affected by landslides and flooding.

In February, the hilly city of Petrópolis, in Rio de Janeiro, experienced more than 10 inches of rain, falling within three hours, almost as much as during the previous 30 days in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro state firefighters and civil defense authorities are currently positioned in the affected cities to help rescue trapped citizens. The civil defense authorities do not estimate how many people went missing so far, save the 14 adults and seven kids. Brazil’s Interior Development Ministry said that Colonel Alexandre Lucas, The national Secretary for Civil Defense and Protection, is traveling to the regions of the most affected areas in Rio de Janeiro to figure out how many total people have gone missing. In the past two months, Rio de Janeiro has been hit with this sort of weather many times, which has caused 240 deaths in the area. Landslides blocked streets and isolated parts of the city. The biggest effect is on homeless people, who are struggling more than ever. The landslides have also caused a power outage in the coastal colonial town, which is a tourist attraction. All of this information shows just how bad the landslides are in the South-eastern area of Brazil.