Brazil flood death toll hits 192 as search continues

2010-04-10 09:27 BJT

The death toll from floods and landslides around Rio de Janeiro this week reached 192. And as searchers continued on Friday to look for bodies they faced the danger of yet more landslides.

Heavy rain threatens to set off new slides as emergency crews work around the clock looking for victims at the most devastated site - a shantytown built atop a garbage dump that was buried by a landslide. But they are faced with obstacles.

Colonel Jose Paulo Miranda, Sub-Commander, Rio State Fire Dept, said, "We are going to permanently continue the search effort. Obviously during the night we will have several difficulties, light being one of them, difficult access, and the risk of the location the firefighters are in."

Authorities fear the death toll from the Niteroi slide alone could be as high as two-hundred. However, it's not clear exactly how many people were buried beneath the mud.

Torrential rains also prompted a storm surge in Rio de Janeiro's beaches on Friday. Waves as high as 16 feet attracted dozens of surfers.

The storm was one of the heaviest to batter Rio in the last decades. The torrential rains uprooted thousands trees and killed several people, especially in poor hillside neighborhoods.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: