November 28, 2020

Rains kills at least 28 in southeastern Brazil

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Relatives carry the coffins of a family killed by a mudslide to the cemetery in Jamapara, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, Tuesday Jan. 10, 2012. Sergio Carvalho, his wife Solange and their son Tiago were buried by a mudslide that killed at least eight people and left 20 people missing. According to civil defense officials, at least 23 people have died this year due to mudslides triggered by heavy rains. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

JAMAPARA, Brazil (AP) — A mudslide caused by two days of downpours has killed at least 13 people in a small town in southeastern Brazil, and another 11 are listed as missing, the head of the Rio de Janeiro state civil defense department said Tuesday.

Sergio Simoes told CBN radio that five bodies were pulled from beneath tons of mud and debris on Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the Jamapara district of Sapucaia city to 13. Eight bodies were found on Monday.

Among the missing are five members of a family whose car was caught in the mudslide as they were trying to get away from the area.

Simoes said mud loosened by the rains swallowed at least nine houses built on the hillside.

“This is a very difficult area, where another mudslide could happened at any moment,” he told CBN.

In front of the small church where a wake was being held for a family of three, Antonio Marcos Silva dos Reis said he lost several friends in the mudslide. He said it “sounded like a huge explosion when it happened.”

“I was born and bred in this town and there have been floods every year,” he said by telephone. “But I have never seen a tragedy as big as this one.”

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