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Recriminations mount after Rio floods

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Recriminations mount after Rio floods


The floods in Brazil are now known to have killed at least 95 people following the heaviest rains in decades in Rio de Janeiro state.

Most of the victims were buried alive in more than 180 mudslides, which swept away shacks in Rio’s hillside slums, shut down transport and commerce, and brought down power lines.

The city’s mayor says 10,000 homes remain at risk.

“I’ve been here since 5.20 pm yesterday and I have nothing and I haven’t eaten. It’s revolting. This is a wakeup call for the government to see that they haven’t prepared at all to host the world cup here. It’s infuriating,” said one homeless man.

In January at least 76 people died in floods in Rio, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, and there has been plenty of criticism that, exceptional rains or not, Brazil is a tropical country and should be better prepared for such downpours.

The summer in the southern hemisphere this year has been the rainiest for 60 years, and president Lula, who cancelled official engagements, said no- one could have coped with the rain Brazil had been seeing.

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