The Heat Is Online

Mudslides Kill at least 80 in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela

Flood deaths in Brazil rise to 65, Nov. 25, 2008


Rescue efforts are being stepped up in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, where floods have left 65 people dead and some 43,000 homeless.


The federal government and other states are sending aid, including helicopters to reach stranded residents.


The heavy rainfall of recent days also caused landslides that have destroyed homes and blocked roads in the region.


Eight towns have been cut off by the flood waters while more than 160,000 people are without electricity.


Heavy rains have affected large parts of southern Brazil but Santa Catarina has borne the brunt of the bad weather.


Eight towns have been completely cut off, while transport throughout the state has been paralysed with roads blocked by mud and water.


Emergency workers have been using helicopters and boats to try to reach those left stranded.


Civil defence officials said that, of the people known to have died, 13 were in the town of Blumenau, while another 15 deaths were reported in Ilhota.


A state of emergency has been declared in Santa Catarina and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has offered federal help.


"Almost all the deaths were caused by landslides that left people buried in their own homes," said Santa Catarina Governor Luiz Henrique da Silveira.


In total more than a million people are said to have been affected by the flooding.

The floods have also caused part of a pipeline carrying natural gas from Bolivia to Brazil to be shut, cutting supplies to Santa Catarina and the neighbouring state of Rio Grande do Sul.


Floods, mudslides kill 45 in Brazil


Heavy rains also forced 22,000 to flee, cut off access to four towns


The Associated Press. Nov. 24, 2008


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Floods and landslides in southern Brazil have killed 45 people, driven 22,000 from their homes and ruptured a major gas line, officials said Monday.


Santa Catarina state Gov. Luiz Henrique da Silveira told Globo television that with 14 other people missing, that death toll, sadly, is going to pass 50.


Heavy rains that started on Friday have left some towns 80 percent under water, the governor said. Roads were blocked to four towns where people had no electricity. Federal officials offered cargo planes to help fly supplies to devastated regions.


Rescue efforts were focusing on the Itajai River valley, where waters were 30 feet above normal.


The count of deaths rose from 20 that civil defense officials had reported on Sunday.


Officials also said a landslide ruptured a major gas line from Bolivia, cutting off supplies to the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.


Another South American nation, Colombia, also struggled with flooding on Monday as civil defense officials reported that the swollen El Salado river had killed at least six people and left six others missing in the Cauca region.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Flooding, slides kill 9 in Venezuela


Roads cut off in Caracas and more rain is expected


The Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2008

CARACAS, Venezuela - Heavy rains unleashed flooding and mudslides in Venezuela that killed at least nine people, including five children, authorities said Friday.


The victims following Thursday's downpours included two girls, 9 and 11, who died in a mudslide that hit a poor Caracas neighborhood. They were among at least four killed in the capital, while one woman was missing, Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami said.


Officials reported at least five more victims in other parts of the country, including a 10-year-old boy and a pregnant 17-year-old who were buried by a landslide in western Zulia state.


The five children killed included one teenager, a 15-year-old boy swept away by a flooding river in north-central Aragua state.


The rains flooded streets, toppled trees and set off torrents of water and earth that damaged homes and hindered rescue crews in some areas.


The storm damaged 300 families' homes in the western state of Trujillo, regional disaster official Brendy Santos said.


President Hugo Chavez appealed for calm on Thursday, saying authorities are mounting an organized response.


Mudslides blocked hillside roads in Caracas, and some parked cars were smashed by collapsed walls and debris.


The rains let up Friday, allowing crews with bulldozers to begin clearing blocked roads. The forecast called for more rain over the weekend.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.