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

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.