- Title: BRAZIL: Search for landslide victims in Rio de Janeiro continues; 153 dead
- Date: 9th April 2010
- Summary: NITEROI, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (APRIL 8, 2010) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF RESCUE WORKERS AND RESIDENTS DIGGING THROUGH MUD TO FIND SURVIVORS AND ONLOOKERS RESCUE WORKERS AND RESIDENTS DIGGING THROUGH MUD ONLOOKERS WATCH EXCAVATION WORK FIRE FIGHTER CARRYING DOG CIVIL DEFENSE WORKERS TRYING TO FIND SURVIVORS GENERAL VIEW OF MUDSLIDE PEOPLE WATCHING RESCUE TEAMS WORKING AMBULANCE ARRIVING OLD MAN IS TAKEN AWAY ON WHEELCHAIR WOMEN OBSERVE RESCUE WORKS (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BUMBA HILL SLUM RESIDENT, MARLENE PINHEIRO, SAYING: "When it started to go 'brum, brum' (we shouted) 'run, run, run'... We ran and everything started coming down -- the kitchen, my brother's room, the living room... But in the other room it (landslide) stopped, so when that happened we opened the window and we jumped into the woods and ran away." RESCUE WORKER LOOKING FOR SURVIVORS DIGGER ARRIVING TO REMOVE MUD MUD BEING REMOVED BY DIGGER CHILDREN CROSSING SIGN IN MUDDY STREET
- Embargoed: 24th April 2010 13:00
- Location: Brazil
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA3UZF63W39KT1TIL46L3FBHQMY
- Story Text: Rescue workers hunt for survivors of a deadly mudslide that hit a slum in Rio de Janeiro's neighboring town of Niteroi, leaving dozens missing.
Rescue workers scoured on Thursday (April 8) for dozens of people feared buried by a landslide near Rio de Janeiro as the death toll from heavy rains in and around the city rose to 153.
The heaviest rains in more than 40 years, which started on Monday, triggered close to 200 mudslides that crushed shacks in hillside slums, causing most of the deaths and leaving thousands of people homeless.
Search teams rescued 21 people from the wreckage of houses swept away by a mudslide late on Wednesday in a slum in the city of Niteroi, across a bay from Rio. They said six bodies were pulled from the mud and at least another 70 are believed missing from that incident alone.
Residents of the poor Bumba Hill neighborhood joined rescue teams to help in the search efforts which started late on Wednesday.
Several local media outlets said 200 people were buried beneath the mudslide there, some citing Rio's civil defense agency. But civil defense officials contacted by Reuters said they could not confirm that information.
Authorities say at least 10,000 houses still are at risk of collapse and the national government has sent security forces to help with rescue operations. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has appealed to the federal government for 370 million reais ($208 million) in aid for emergency operations.
Bumba Hill resident, Marelene Pinheiro, said she escaped through her window when she heard the landslide.
"When it started to go 'brum, brum' (we shouted) 'run, run, run'... We ran and everything started coming down -- the kitchen, my brother's room, the living room... But in the other room it (landslide) stopped, so when that happened we opened the window and we jumped into the woods and ran away," she said.
Most of the damage was concentrated in slums where about a fifth of Rio's people live, often in precarious shacks. Bumba Hill was built atop a former garbage dump.
Niteroi was the worst affected area with at least 85 people dead, the fire department said, while 48 were killed in Rio.
The International Olympic Committee said in a statement on Wednesday it planned to have discussions with Rio officials once the situation returns to normal about how the disaster might affect preparations for the games.
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