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Archive for December 1st, 2008

Brazil’s Extreme Rain Events Trigger 4,000 Landslides

Posted by msrb on December 1, 2008

Death toll from Brazil’s mudslides rises to 110

Renewed rainfall threatens to trigger more landslides in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state

As Brazil’s death toll from mudslides rises to 110 with 20 others missing, renewed rainfall threatens to trigger more landslides in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, which has experienced more than 4,000 landslides after months of torrential rain. Many houses and their residents have been buried in massive rivers of mud.

A general view shows a flooded Itajai city in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina November 26, 2008. Brazil sent hundreds of state and federal police officers to quell looting by homeless and hungry landslide victims facing the threat of disease after heavy flooding that authorities say killed more than 100 people and displaced 54,000. Rescue workers shoveled through massive mudslides that buried homes and cars and ferried stranded survivors to safety in rubber dinghies, as the disaster prompted President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to visit the region on Wednesday. REUTERS/SECOM/James Tavares/Handout (BRAZIL).

Blumenau was one of five towns in the Itajai valley of Santa Catarina state, the heartland of German and Italian immigrants in Brazil, to declare a state of emergency. Its main river rose by about 12 meters submerging large areas.

Several thousand soldiers and police have been sent to the affected towns to help distribute food and medicine and stop looting which had reportedly broken out.

Brazil’s President Lula da Silva authorized emergency relief funds worth about $900 million earlier this week. Floods and mudslides have affected up to 2 million people displacing some 100,000 people.

Other countries/regions/cities affected by flooding this week:

  • In Italy torrential rains and hail flooded streets in Rome November 30, 2008.
  • Sri Lankan Floods caused by days of heavy rain have killed a dozen people, displacing about 90,000 others.
  • In Venice, Italy, the biggest flood in nearly a quarter of a century submerged most parts of the city, with waters rising as high as 1.6m above normal levels.
  • In southeast Queensland, the worst storms in three decades have triggered massive floods. Brisbane, the provincial capital, was deluged by about 25cm of rainfall in less than 7 hours. About a quarter of million homes and businesses were left without power. More rain and flooding is expected in the next few days.
  • In Colombia, the second rainy season this year has triggered numerous landslides, which has left about 60 people dead and some 70,000 buildings destroyed. More than 150,000 families have been affected.

Flooded Saint Mark’s square in Venice: A harbinger of submerged world. Tourists take photos of each other in the flooded Saint Mark’s square in Venice December 1, 2008. Image may be subject to copyright.REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

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