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Brazil landslides kill 13 as heavy downpour continues

brazil mapAt least 13 people have been killed in deadly landslides triggered by heavy rain in northeastern Brazil, and officials warned Tuesday havoc could continue as downpours persist.

The downpour started Monday morning, causing more than 100 landslides and rockslides near the city of Salvador in the Bahia region.

“Thirteen people have been killed and unfortunately it continues to rain,” said Karina Baracho, spokeswoman for Salvador’s municipal civil protection agency.

“The mayor of Salvador, state governor, secretary of civil protection and other authorities are meeting to determine how to help people,” she added.

Officials said more than 200 millimeters (eight inches) of rain fell in the area in the past 24 hours — about 65 percent of the total average rainfall for the month of April.

Several poor neighborhoods were ravaged by the landslides, including Avenida San Martin and Bom Jua. Salvador’s mayor said the favelas on the hillsides near the city were most vulnerable.

“It is clear that buildings in hazardous locations are most at risk,” Antonio Carlos Magalhaes Neto told reporters Monday.

Images showed structures completely destroyed by the landslides and streets buried in mud.

President Dilma Rousseff lamented the deaths, and said the military was ready to be deployed if necessary to “take all measures to support the people of Bahia.”



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