Tuesday 13 November 2018

Landslide kills at least ten in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

Ten people, including a three-year-old boy have been confirmed dead following a landslide in the city of Niterói in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, on Saturday 10 November 2018. A further four people are missing following the event, with eleven having been rescued alive. The incident occurred after days of heavy rain in the area, when part of a muddy slope collapsed onto a group of residential properties, carrying with it several large boulders. andslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.

The scene of a landslide that killed at least ten people in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, on Saturday 10 November 2018. EPA.

November sees the start of the rainy season in southern Brazil, a country that has suffered a string of flood and landslide related disasters in recent years. The country has a rapidly growing population, with little effective urban planning, which has led to sprawling urban developments springing up with little thought to natural hazards, and in particular poorer neighbourhoods often expanding up unstable hillsides, with the result that when floods occur (which is not unusual) communities are often quickly overwhelmed. 

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