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Searches continue after Brazil mudslides kill at least 58 in Rio de Janeiro state

Brazil Deadly Rains
Posted at 12:35 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 14:35:19-05

Authorities in Brazil say the death toll from mudslides and floods that swept through a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state had reached at least 58.

The city of Petropolis was struck by a deluge on Tuesday and there are fears the toll could rise higher as searchers check damaged areas Wednesday. Authorities say the area got just over 10 inches of rain within three hours. That is almost as much as during the previous 30 days combined.

Video posted on social media shows cars and houses being dragged away by landslides and water swirling through Petropolis and neighboring districts.

Brazil deadly mudslides
Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Photos showed how extremely heavy rains set off mudslides and floods in a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, killing multiple people, authorities reported. Residents and volunteers were seen in one photo removing the body of a mudslide victim in Petropolis, Brazil on Wednesday.

Brazil deadly mudslides
Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

A man was seen carrying a dog away from a residential area destroyed by mudslides in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, where torrential rains set off the mudslides which killed multiple people.

Brazil deadly mudslides caused by torrential rains
Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

An aerial view shows a neighborhood affected by landslides. Brazil's Globo TV broadcast images of houses on Wednesday buried below mud where firefighters were not able to access. Streets remained inaccessible in some parts, the Associated Press reported.

Brazil deadly mudslide
Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Rescue workers and residents searched for victims in an area affected by landslides. A 39-year-old bar owner named Emerson Torre said, “The neighbors came down running and I gave them shelter.” Torre said, “It was like an avalanche, it fell all at once. I’ve never seen anything like it.” He said,  “Every neighbor has lost a loved one, has lost two, three, four members of the same family, kids.

Brazil deadly mudslides
Petropolis, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

A resident was seen in a photo yelling during the search for survivors after the deadly mudslides hit. Petropolis city hall declared three days of mourning for those lost in the area.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro was on a trip to Russia at the time but expressed solidarity with the victims and their families, along with Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reported.