[QODLink]
Americas
Brazil flood toll nears 730 mark
Break in rain allows rescuers to step up delivery of supplies to isolated areas of Rio de Janeiro state.
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2011 06:34 GMT




The death toll from floods and landslides in the mountainous area near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janiero has risen to at least 727, officials say.

In towns north of the city, where the deadly mudslides struck, a break in rain allowed rescuers to step up delivery of supplies to isolated areas. They also recovered bodies on Wednesday, increasing the death toll.

Navy officers and doctors hiked up to the devastated neighbourhood of Alta Floresta in the city of Nova Friburgo, where they distributed fresh water and food, and treated the injured.

Last week's rains caused severe landslides and major destruction in at least seven cities in Rio de Janeiro state's mountain region.

Government assistance

The government has approved $5 million in federal funding for Nova Friburgo, $13 million for Petropolis and more than $72  for the stricken city of Teresopolis.

The money will be used to rebuild homes and shore up areas at risk from mudslides.

In addition, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's president, signed a measure last week, sending an additional $461 million to towns in Rio and Sao Paulo states that were damaged during the rains.

The money will go towards repairing infrastructure and preventing future disasters.

Heavy rains, common during Brazil's summer wet season, were intensified this week by a cold front which doubled the usual precipitation.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.