Petrópolis disaster leaves a scar on Brazil’s historical landmarks

With hundreds dead and much physical destruction, evidence emerges of authorities’ negligence in preparing prevention and mitigation strategies

Marshal looking for survivors in Petrópolis
Marshal looking for survivors in Petrópolis. Photo: Fernando Frazão/ABr

Petrópolis, a city of 300,000 nestled in mountains 68 kilometers outside of Rio de Janeiro, has been ravaged by mudslides and flooding since Tuesday. After a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours, entire streets saw their buildings destroyed. Deaths continue to rise, with the tally topping the 130 mark by Saturday morning; 218 people remain missing.

Shop owners saw losses in the millions, while residents lost their homes, contents, and cars.

In addition to the human and material losses, the disaster in Petrópolis also represents a massive blow to the country’s historical heritage. 

Petrópolis was founded in...

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