Floods kill dozens in ‘Imperial City’ — Analysis

After heavy rains and flooding that swept through Petropolis, a historic mountain community of Petropolis, at least 94 people are now dead

Officials said Wednesday that nearly 100 people died in Petropolis, Brazil, after torrential rains caused flooding and mudslides. Rescue teams and search crews are on the alert for survivors. 

Brazil’s National Civil Defense agency said on Twitter that 24 people had been rescued alive from the wreckage of Petropolis – a historic summer getaway of Brazil’s 19th century monarchs known as the “Imperial City,”Located in the hills of Rio de Janeiro 

Social media videos showed vehicles and extensive damage. The city’s elegant streets and Germanic architecture were all but destroyed by the flooding, with scant evidence of its regal charm remaining.  

“The situation is almost like war… Cars hanging from poles, cars overturned, lots of mud and water still,” Rio de Janeiro Governor Claudio Castro told journalists.

Around 80 homes were destroyed in the area of Morro da Oficina. 

The city council has declared three days mourning. Over 300 people were also forced to move out of their homes because of the death toll. People who were forced to leave their homes were moved into schools or shelters. 

More rain fell in the city on Tuesday than was normal for February. 

As President Jair Bolsonaro was traveling to Russia, Bolsonaro used Twitter to request his ministers to handle the situation. In Moscow, he told journalists that federal funding would be available for assistance. “restore traffic in the region.”

Brazil was hit hard by flooding and heavy rains since December. This has threatened to disrupt harvests, and temporarily suspend mining operations.

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