Torrental rain triggers tragic landslides in Brazil

Thursday 13th Jan 2011 by theWeather Club

At least 388 people have been killed in southern Brazil this week as a consequence of the torrential rainstorms that have swept across the country.

The mountains around Rio de Janeiro saw 26cm of rain fall in less than 24 hours from Tuesday 11th January, triggering mudslides that swept away hundreds of homes. In Teresópolis, a hillside town around 60 miles north of Rio, at least 158 residents were buried under a torrent of terracotta mud. "It's like an earthquake struck some areas," Jorge Mario, the mayor of the Teresópolis told the Reuters news agency. "There are three or four neighborhoods that were totally destroyed in rural areas. There are hardly any houses standing there and all the roads and bridges are destroyed."

More then 13,500 people have been made homeless in the region, according to the Brazilian Civil Defence agency.

Earlier in the week 13 people were killed in Sao Paulo when similarly torrential rain led to landslides which, due to poor urban planning and hilly terrain, are often an unhappy consequence of heavy rainfall in Brazil.