Natural Disaster of Brazil Slashes Towns


Top 5 Brazil floods & landslides from 1900-2010; source http://www.emdat.be/

In the middle of January, 2011, the country of Brazil experienced its largest natural disaster in the past four decades. Flash floods and massive landslides in the Serrana mountain area near Rio de Janeiro destroyed many roads and buildings. The many photos online capture the mass destruction these natural events caused on the many small towns in the Serrana region. More than 700 people have been announced dead and another 400 still remain missing [rvd: as of January 21, 2011]. Also, around 1,000 other Brazilians were left homeless due to the landslides. The extensive rainstorms triggered downward flows of mud and ground.  Consequently, the landslides not only destroyed infrastructure mentioned before, but also left families completely buried as they slept with no warning at all.

AP Photo/Felipe Dana

This lack of warning sparks an important topic for the Brazilian government: a strong disaster-prevention program and a quicker alert system.  Many lives were lost simply because a sufficient warning was not available to alert families to evacuate.  To address this issue the government of Brazil released a statement that they were in fact going to bolster a more effective disaster-prevention program and issue earlier warnings in a timely fashion.

Madeline K.

Sources: Boston.com | Guardian

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