Towns located along the mountains of Brazil are no longer standing due to the massive landslides that have literally swept them away. An elementary school in Nova Friburgo, Brazil has become the informational ground where Brazilian citizens have gathered. Citizens are clutching onto their family members while standing under umbrellas and waiting for news to find out if people they knew have lost their lives due to the devastating landslides that have become Brazil’s most deadly natural disasters.
Nova Friburgo has received more than 14 inches of rain since January 1st which is nearly double the expected amount for the entire month according to meteorologist Marcelo Pinherio from his observation of figures taken from the National Institute of Meteorology. This is the fourth consecutive year that Brazil has been bombarded with torrential rainfall and landslides, states of Rio and Sao Paulo have been hit the hardest with an estimated 21 people dying from floods and landslides.
With the endless rainfall, hills and mountains outside the city of Rio were finally pushed into the towns early Wednesday beginning the formation of landslides. The landslides have made the country impassable. With the landslides ripping homes away from their foundation leaving behind mud and fragmented pieces of concrete rescuers are struggling to reach areas like Teresopolis. According to Rio state Civil Defense Department website, Teresopolis is the hardest hit area since landslides have claimed 222 people’s lives and destroyed hundreds of homes.
Sergio Cabral, the Rio State governor, argues that the damage from the natural disaster was much worst due to the irresponsible local housing policies since the population of three of the towns hit the hardest have quadrupled over the last 40 years. In an interview with Radio CBN, Cabral states “The occupation of the slopes in these cities resulted in this tragedy.”