Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brazil: Rains of Rio death toll now over 600

Source: Government of Brazil

Nielmar Oliveira Reporter Agência Brasil

Rio de Janeiro – The official death toll from the rains in the mountains above the city of Rio de Janeiro in the state of Rio de Janeiro ("região serrano"), has risen above 600. This is the latest information, as of 9:00 am Monday, January 17. The official number of deaths is now 641.

According to the state Secretariat of Health and Civil Defense, based on information furnished by the Civil Police, Fire Department and Civil Defense authorities, a total of 292 people were killed in the city of Nova Friburgo and 271 in Teresopolis - the two cities hardest hit by the rainfall, floods and mudslides. People also died in a number of other cities in the state, mainly Petropolis and Sumidouro.

The area devastated depends largely on tourism and commerce (Nova Friburgo is a lingerie center) and lost revenue will run into the millions. Most commercial establishments in the region aremain closed. Residents are having trouble with potable water, food and medical supplies. Some estimates on the cost of reconstruction are that it will reach R$2 billion.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English - content updated