Death toll from mudslides rises to 75 in Brazil

The mayor of a city devastated by mudslides called yesterday for Brazil's only nuclear power stations to be shut down as the death toll in the storm-ravaged region rose to 75.

Tuca Jordao, the mayor of Angra dos Reis, said that while the plants were not damaged or at risk, the mudslides that killed at least 44 people in his city had disrupted emergency escape routes. The state-run nuclear power firm Eletronuclear said a temporary closure would not seriously hurt the country's power supply. Landslides triggered by days of heavy rain wrecked three houses and swept a luxury hotel into the sea on the resort of Ilha Grande, near Rio de Janeiro, on New Year's Day. Mud and debris destroyed homes in hillside slums in the Rio area. Rescuers are searching for survivors.