Friday 19 January 2018

Heavy rain causes chaos in Rio

Heavy rain has caused chaos in Rio de Janeiro
Heavy rain has caused chaos in Rio de Janeiro

Torrential rain has caused chaos and at least two deaths in Rio de Janeiro.

Traffic came to a standstill, airports were temporarily closed and commuter trains halted after flood waters engulfed many parts of the city.

Firefighters said two bodies were found in a river on the poor northern outskirts of the city.

The federal government said it would send in police to counter some looting that was reported, and the Rio state government asked for assistance in providing water, food and beds for 2,000 families driven from their homes by flooding.

Some people took to the streets on jet-skis to rescue neighbours from homes surrounded by water. Commuters were seen standing on top of buses as water rose to the windows.

Sirens warning citizens to be alert for mudslides rang in more than 40 poorer neighbourhoods.

City mayor Eduardo Paes asked people to stay indoors and avoid the streets.

Officials said one western Rio neighbourhood received 2.5in of rain in just one hour. Other areas saw nearly 5in fall. Rains lessened by early afternoon, but a steady drizzle still fell over most of the city.

Press Association

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