Death toll from Brazil mudslides rises to sixty

Sunday, January 3, 2010

At least sixty people have been confirmed dead after mudslides in southeastern Brazil, mostly on Ilha Grande, caused by torrential rainfall.

Rescue efforts are still continuing in the state of Rio de Janeiro for people feared to be buried under houses, which collapsed due to the deluge of mud and rain. Rescuers used shovels and heavy machinery to dig through the rubble.

Colonel Jerri Andrade, who is supervising the rescuers, commented on the current status of rescue efforts. "The weather is improving, which helps us with the search, but we won't rest as long as we suspect that there are more bodies underneath the remains."

More rain is forecast in the days ahead, making additional mudslides a possibility. The authorities have warned that the death toll could increase as more bodies are found. Three days of mourning were declared in the Rio de Janeiro greater area, and celebrations scheduled for January 6 were called off.