Danielle (danyjoncew) wrote in ontd_political,

What a month for Rio =(

400 missing in Brazil slides; Toll hits 763

Brazilian officials say about 400 people are registered as missing after mudslides last week that killed 767 people.

The Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor's office is tallying the list.

The death toll from slides triggered by deluges in mountain towns just north of Rio ticked up Friday as recovery teams reached isolated areas and slowly dug out victims.

Roads and bridges are washed out across the region, hampering the ability to get heavy machinery into the areas to speed up the recovery of bodies.

The slides are the deadliest natural disaster to hit Brazil since flooding killed 785 people four decades ago.


Brazil rescue effort helicopter crashes

Brazil's flood rescue effort faces new challenges after a military helicopter crashed while assisting in the search and rescue of victims.

Local TV channels showed the dramatic footage of the crash which occured in Rio de Janeiro state. The pilot survived the ordeal.

The pictures included shots of an SOS sign, drawn using wheat and stones, by a desperate family calling for the attention of rescue workers.

The relief effort continues, following recent floods and landslides.To date the natural diaster has claimed the lives of 750 people in the northern mountainous regions of Rio de Janeiro.

Government officials have proposed the creation of a nationwide disaster-prevention and early-warning system which will aim to allow residents sufficient time to evacuate from high risk areas.

The Science and Technology Minister, Aloizio Mercadante, said it would use 15 radars and a supercomputer to help forecast and monitor extreme weather conditions. The system is expected to be fully operational in four years.


Tornado scares the population of Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO state – Between the evening of Wednesday, January 19 and early hours of Thursday – 20, a low intensity tornado caused strong winds. The population stood scared.

The phenomenon took off roofs of houses and suspended the supply of electricity in the western area of the city of Rio de Janeiro and Baixada fluminence, city of Niteroi. It appears that suddenly, the destroyer force of Nature remembered that Brazil exists.


Brazil to create disaster alert system: science minister

Brazil will put in place a national disaster-prevention and early-warning system before next rainy season, the country's top science official said on Thursday.

The early-warning system being developed was designed to protect lives from major natural disasters, said Minister of Science and Technology Aloizio Mercadante.

"The system we want to implement may not put an end to disasters, but at least deaths will decrease. Nothing is more valuable than lives," he told state radio reporters.

Following the worst natural disaster ever recorded in Brazil's history that killed more than 750 people in mountain towns north of Rio de Janeiro, the government Monday announced the creation of a national system to prevent and alert natural disasters.

According to Mercadante, the system will be composed of 15 radars and a recently purchased supercomputer to help forecast heavy rainfall and other extreme weather conditions, giving authorities enough time to evacuate people from high-risk areas.

The most critical areas will be given priority to install the alert system which is expected to be fully operational in four years, given the time to conduct a geological survey, he added.

"A few cities have already made a systematic geological survey and we have to identify risky areas first, which are estimated at 500 across the country," Mercadante said.

He said strengthened weather forecast ability, combined with geological survey, will allow the alert system to effectively issue evacuation warnings to those dangerous areas.

"Then we will have another measure, that is training people on disaster prevention, because we do not have such culture of prevention in Brazil like other countries that have to deal with earthquakes and hurricanes," he said.

"However, as a result of climate change, droughts and floods tend to be more frequent and more severe around the world. These phenomena have become frequent in Brazil," he added.

According to the minister, the fact that these events are quite rare in Brazil partly explains why previous governments have done little in implementing alert systems or conducting geological surveys.

Besides these measures listed, governments at all levels also need to keep an eye on buildings established in areas which are vulnerable to floods and landslides, the minister said.

In Brazil, 58 percent of natural disasters are related to floods and 11 percent to landslides, he said.

Meanwhile, a partnership is being negotiated with the Brazilian Air Force to use their radars for monitoring air traffic, which will also help forecast detailed weather conditions.


Vets and Volunteers Tend to Pets Affected by Brazilian Mudslides

While many seem to concentrate on the hundreds and hundreds of human lives lost, there are thousands of pets who too have lost their owners, their lives, their homes and their balance in life by the mudslides that slipped down the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo after days of rainfall.

Six days and counting, rain, flooding and mudslides have taken a rising tolls on the cities of Teresopolis, Petropolis and Nova Friburgo, Brazil. Thousands of pets have survived the cascade and been left homeless. A group of veterinarians and teams of volunteers have stepped up to take care of them by patching their wounds, cleaning and feeding them.

Both volunteers and veterinarians recognize that beside the human impact, the toll on the animals has been just as devastating. Their mission centers around putting the pets back into a loving home environment after one of the worst natural disasters that hit Brazil in the last four decades.

“If there are owners seeing these pictures they should come here and we would give them back. But for the majority, I believe, we will put them in good hands because I think most of the owners have lost their homes, their lives, God knows," Tereza Dantas, a veterinarian said.

A family from Teresopolis, who lost their dog during the mudslide, went to the warehouse shelter looking for a pet to replace him.

"We are here looking for another dog that can look after the house but who is also nice to people", said Daniela, a girl from the family.


Older post, with pictures (some are very graphic).
Post about possible impact of La Niña.

I guess this year began before Carnaval.
Tags: animals, brazil, latin america, natural disaster, south america

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