Rain & Tears

Mudslides in Brazil or the
Predictability of Tragedy

It’s happening again. Almost every year, incontinent summer rains flood and cause tragic mudslides in and around Rio de Janeiro. Accordingly, headlines could be merely copied over and republished, with changes just in the number of victims and their names.
That’s because, as local and federal governments get elected, fulfill their terms in office, and leave, little is ever accomplished to prevent this sad cycle of despair and grief happening all over again in Brazil. As usual, the epicenter of this still unfolding tragedy is Petrópolis.
Despite the use of terms such as ‘unusual heavy rains,’ and ‘unexpected mudslides,’ the script is all too familiar. Rains come and the mountainous region around Brazil’s ‘marvelous city’ start to turn into a deadly, several feet-deep wave of mud and detritus, rushing down and burying everything on its path.
So far, the death toll (335, so far) hasn’t been as severe as it was in 2011, and we do hope it keeps that way. Still we thought it’d be appropriate to republish an exclusive and dramatic eyewitness report on the floods that affected the same area two years ago. As we said, there’s very little difference between then and now.
You may gather your own conclusions, of course, but since it’s still happening as we speak, we’ll abstain from making judgements or calling for accountability for now. At least until the weather gives a break to those poor Brazilians, and everyone is safe. Then, we most definitely should. In the meantime, here’s the story.

Exclusive

Left With Only Despair & the
Clothes They Were Wearing

Over 500 people got killed in the past few days, as intense rains caused floods and mudslides in five towns around Rio de Janeiro. The death toll is expected to rise as more rain is forecast and an unknown number of victims remains buried under land and debris from collapsed buildings. Here’s a report from a resident of Nova Friburgo, one of the most affected cities.

“Hi Chico,

Things here are really horrible. The rain inundated my mom’s house, she lost almost everything, many barriers broke down, there are many deaths, relatives of Fabio (my husband) lost everything and were left only with the clothes they’re wearing.
We had to leave home because things were getting pretty bad, without running water, power and risking getting sick, for the mud was already at the fourth step Continue reading