April 12th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Death toll from Brazil floods now 229, officials say

Rescue workers dig through the mud left behind by floods and mudslides for those still missing in Brazil.

Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday the government will do everything possible to help victims of flooding and mudslides that have killed at least 229 people and left thousands homeless.

Lula said he will immediately make available 200 million Brazilian reais (about $112 million) in emergency funding to the state of Rio de Janeiro, where heavy rains that started Tuesday have caused widespread death and destruction.

"We can now say that the Brazilian people are saddened by what has happened in Rio de Janeiro and asking God, praying much, that it stops raining and Rio can return to normality," Lula was quoted as saying by the state-run Agencia Brasil news service.

The largest number of victims from Wednesday's landslides have occurred in the city of Niteroi, where 146 people have died, Agencia Brasil said Sunday evening, citing fire department officials. An additional 150 people are believed dead and still buried in the mud in Niteroi, the news outlet said.

Niteroi is located across the bay from the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Another 63 people have died in the state of Rio de Janeiro, fire officials said. In addition, 16 deaths have been recorded in the city of Sao Goncalo, adjacent to Niteroi, and one each in Petropolis, Paracambi, Mage and Nilopolis, authorities said.

More than 160 people have been injured and about 5,000 have been left homeless, officials said.

Many of the deaths have occurred from mudslides in flimsy shantytowns built on the sides of hills overlooking the metro Rio area.

Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral said Brazil would invest 1 billion reais (about $562 million) to construct housing, Agencia Brasil reported. The money, he said, will come from nearly 5 billion reais (about $2.8 billion) set aside in the national treasury for construction connected with the 2012 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, both of which Brazil will host.

The prayers that Lula mentioned may not be answered any time soon. More rain was forecast for Monday and the next few days.

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Filed under: Brazil • Weather • World
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Shadrack Moepeng

    Whtz going on in this world, 1st it waas Haiti now is Brazil? God pls b with all de victims & their family. I pray & hope God will procted those who survive.

    April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ladybug212

    Isn't this where the Olympics are scheduled to be held ... Rio?

    April 12, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stan

    Surely there must be some sort of scientific investigation into these extreme weather patterns being experienced around the world. Sure, the argument can be made that they are just being recorded with frequency compared to the past, but how could anyone dismiss the deaths of 229 from a natural disaster as "expected and natural," could it be because the world is overpopulated and that number of people now equals nothing?

    OR should we always wait for a huge casualty figure before declaring a natural disaster news worthy? or before we are bothered with a drastically changing weather pattern?

    April 12, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mateus

    I believe that Rio is hosting the World Cup in 2014, not 2012.

    April 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Macauley - Neyhart

    where can we get names of the 2010 Brazill flood victims? We are looking for family members.

    April 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. desert voice

    Brasil is a wealthy country. It is shameful that it treatsb its poor as pariahs! These people lost their lives because they had no money to built in safer places. The favelas ought to disappear from the face of the earth!

    April 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sheyla braga

    hello..I'm from Brazil..thank you for love us

    April 13, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tracy Florida

    Brazil is a beautiful country, as is its language and music. The physical destruction might take a little while to clean up, but the spirit of the people can't be destroyed.

    June 27, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |