Society

Ten years after mudslide tragedy, Rio still working to repair damage

Almost 1,000 people were killed in the aftermath of heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro's mountainous region in 2011. Some of those displaced in the tragedy remain homeless

mudslide tragedy
Civil Defense officer during rescue operation following a landslide in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Jorge Hely Veiga/Shutterstock

Ten years ago, on the morning of January 12, Brazil awoke to catastrophic scenes in a region of the country previously only known for its bucolic landscapes. In the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, TV newscasts showed footage of devastating mudslides, drowning provincial tourist towns under a sea of brown sludge. Rescue teams from the Armed Forces searched frantically for survivors, often in vain.

Rainfall from the previous evening killed residents from seven cities in the region. According to the official death toll, 918 people lost their lives and 30,000 were displaced. However, even ten...

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