Record Rain Triggers Landslides in Rio de Janeiro
The roads of Rio de Janeiro were turned into virtual rivers, as the heaviest rains ever-recorded in Brazil’s second-largest city wreaked havoc on Tuesday. Officials said up to eleven inches of rain soaked the city of over six million people, triggering landslides in Rio’s slums.
Authorities said more than 95 people have been confirmed dead, most of them from the poor shanty communities that were buried in mud. Mayor Eduardo Paes said around 10,000 families are in danger of losing their homes as mudslides could ensue if the rain continues. He urged people living in low-lying areas to evacuate to avoid tragedy.
The floods have cast doubt on the city’s capability to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, two of the world’s biggest sporting events. However, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who called on Brazilians to pray that the rains would stop, said that it was very unlikely that the same tragedy would strike during the events. He said that the months of June and July, when the events are to take place, are usually “calmer.”