Death toll from Brazil storm tops 200: police


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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – The death toll from flash floods and landslides caused by torrential rains in the Brazilian city of Petropolis has exceeded 200, authorities said on Wednesday, as they continue to recover bodies more than a week after the storm .

About 51 people are still missing, but that number is expected to drop as bodies are identified and families are reunited, police said.

Of the 204 bodies found, 188 had been identified on Wednesday, Rio de Janeiro police said.

Some 800 people have been housed in emergency shelters after the deluge damaged or destroyed their homes.

A volunteer takes part in a rescue mission on February 19, 2022 after a giant landslide in the Caxambu neighborhood in Petropolis, Brazil MAURO PIMENTEL AFP/Dossier

The downpour on February 15 turned the streets of the picturesque tourist town north of Rio de Janeiro into violent rivers, the water carrying cars, trees and earth with it.

Authorities are still carrying out a massive clean-up operation to clean up mud, rubble and stranded vehicles strewn around Petropolis, a city of 300,000 that was the summer capital of the Brazilian Empire in the 19th century.

The storm, which brought down more than a month of rain in a matter of hours, is now the deadliest in the city’s history.

Over the past three months, around 250 people have died in severe storms in Brazil.

Experts say the heavy rains are made worse by climate change.


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