Monday, January 17, 2011


The title is probably offensive to some, but I just was treated to a piece on the news channel Globo News about how the rain caused all these horrible mudslides in Rio with all those deaths.

I am in Brazil for in the third year and I do recall hearing the same in the past. Thanks to google news, I can check if I am halucinating. A search for "chuva deslizamento", classified by date brings up, in no particular order, a few news articles:
And, what should be done about it? Right: an alert system for natural disasters is supposed to be set up within four years. I wonder what that is supposed to be good for? According to CBN radio, about 150.000 people live in endangered areas in the city of Sao Paulo alone. A bit of proper planning and zoning would surely help - but that probably requires too much... well, planning - and does not make up for some nice emergency government meetings.

And don't think that it is only the poor getting affected. I currently have a view on a pending disaster in my back yard. The first picture is from December 18 of last year - observe the last site which carved out a piece of the hill.
And now look at the picture below, taken last week.

It probably would be a good idea for somebody from the city to take a look at the site - in the interest of those living in the 24 floor building on top of the hill.

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