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.




    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


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.