At least 104 dead in Rio de Janeiro floods

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Rio de Janeiro braced for more rain today as the death toll from flooding climbed to 104 and order slowly returned to Brazil's second-biggest city that was thrown into chaos a day earlier.



Rio's mayor said traffic had improved after the heaviest rains in at least three decades yesterday turned highways into lakes, left commuters and residents stranded and sparked mudslides that crushed houses in hillsides slums.



Rio's Fire Department said rescue teams had stepped up searches for dozens of people missing as a result of floods and mudslides.



"From the point of view of mobility, the situation is better than yesterday," Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters at an early morning press conference.



He urged residents to postpone meetings and avoid travelling in the city if possible. Schools remained shut for a second day.



The government weather service predicted rain would continue until Saturday even after clouds broke briefly and rains eased this morning.



A Fire Department spokesman said 39 people were killed in the city of Rio, famous for its beaches and Carnaval celebrations, while the remainder of the casualties took place in suburbs and in neighboring cities and town of the state of Rio de Janeiro.



In the nearby city of Niteroi, residents desperately searched for survivors in rubble left from 10 houses that collapsed from a mudslide, the Globo network reported.



"I lost my sister-in-law and a niece, and my nephew and brother-in-law are still missing," nurse Samuel Franca, who managed to rescue his sister from the wreckage the day before, told Globo.



Globo images showed buses struggling to drive through flooded streets in western parts of the city, though transit had largely returned to normal in the central business district.



Paes called on those living in hillside slums at risk for mudslides - which were responsible for most of yesterday's deaths - to leave their homes as the rains continued.



"Their lives are at risk," Paes added.



Brazil's popular football team Flamengo postponed a match with a rival team from Chile because of the rains.



The mayor yesterday said 1,200 people had been made homeless and that 10,000 houses remained at risk, mostly in the slums where about a fifth of Rio's people live, often in precarious shacks that are vulnerable to heavy rains.



Television images yesterday showed central parts of Rio flooded and abandoned cars under water. Near Copacabana beach, residents waded through ankle-deep water on their way to work.



The latest flooding and transportation chaos has renewed attention on Rio's poor infrastructure as it prepares to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.



In January, at least 76 people died in flooding and mudslides in Brazil's most populous states of Rio, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Then, dozens of people were killed in a landslide at a beach resort between Rio and the port city of Santos.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions