One week after Rio storms, death toll hits 742
A week after storms devastated part of Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil, the death count reached 742, local authorities said Wednesday.
According to the authorities, there are at least 200 people missing. At least 15 neighborhoods remain unreachable except by helicopters, Xinhua reported.
A total of 21,500 people had to leave their homes because of the floods and the risk of new mudslides. Thousands of families had nowhere to go and are currently living in shelters set up in schools and clubs. Local governments are evacuating residents from risk areas.
It rained heavily in the damaged region on Tuesday, flooding several neighborhoods and making it difficult for rescue teams to work. The rain is expected to continue in the next days.
The storms caused considerable damage to the production of vegetables in the state, and the fall in food supply has caused prices to rise in the state's capital city Rio.
Some temporary bridges will be built by the army on the highways of the damaged towns. According to the local government, 52 bridges will be rebuilt in the area.