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Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

[ 2011-01-17 14:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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Brazilians on Sunday prayed for victims of devastating floods near Rio de Janeiro after the death toll from the natural disaster rose to at least 610 and was predicted to climb again.

Emergency workers in the disaster zone, in the Serrana region just north of Rio, were overwhelmed by the body count. Refrigerator trucks had to be brought in to store corpses.

Workers transporting bodies said they feared the overall death toll could top 1,000 as rescuers reached outlying hamlets.

President Dilma Rousseff declared the three days of mourning, government news agency Agencia Brasil reported. Rio de Janeiro state authorities said their state will observe a full week of mourning starting on Monday.

As of late Saturday, the death toll stood at 610 people, with the worst-hit towns being Teresopolis, Nova Friburgo and Petropolis, civil defense officials said. Outlying villages also reported deaths.

An estimated 14,000 people were assisted by rescue workers or lost their homes in the Serrana area towns hardest hit about 100 km from coastal Rio, civil defense figures showed.

The single hardest hit town was Nova Friburgo, where 274 people were killed. Nearby Teresopolis had 263 dead, 55 were killed in Petropolis and 18 lost their lives in Sumidouro, officials said.

"I think in the end we'll see more than 1,000 bodies," said a funeral worker in Teresopolis, Mauricio Berlim. "In one village near here, Campo Grande, there were 2,500 homes and not one is left standing."

Authorities also made an urgent appeal for donations of blood, bottled water, food and medicine.


1. In what city did the floods take place?

2. What is the latest death toll?

3. How many people were affected in Serrana?


1. Rio de Janeiro.

2. 610.

3. 14,000.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

About the broadcaster:

Brazil mourns as flood death toll climbs

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.