In Brazil, the inhabitants of the state of Rio are experiencing a real tragedy. Heavy rains caused landslides and flooding in the tourist town of Petropolis, killing 18 people on Tuesday, Rio de Janeiro firefighters said, with more than 180 men at the scene, 68 km away. north of the city.
The firefighters did not provide a figure regarding the possible number of people injured or missing. “Teams specialized in search and rescue have been sent to reinforce the rescue operations, with the support of 4×4 vehicles and boats”, they however specified. The rains have ended but others, “light to moderate”, were expected for the next few hours, warned the town hall.
Cars carried away by the current
Images have circulated on social networks and in the media, where we saw houses destroyed by landslides on hillsides and cars violently carried away by the current. Many businesses were completely inundated as the water rushed down the streets of the historic center of Petropolis, ripping out goods.
In less than six hours, some points in the city received up to 260 millimeters of water, more than was expected for the whole month of February, according to the meteorological agency MetSul. The town hall of Petropolis declared a “state of calamity” to deal with the emergency, and the governor of the state, Claudio Castro, went there to show his support. From Russia where he is visiting, President Jair Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter that he was keeping abreast of “the tragedy” and asked his ministers to provide “immediate aid to the victims”. “May God comfort the families of the victims,” he added.