Scores Killed in Rio Flooding

City on brink of collapse in biggest storm in decade
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
Updated Apr 7, 2010 6:24 AM CDT
Scores Killed in Rio Flooding
A rescue worker carries a baby as other victims are helped after a landslide in a flooded area of Campo Grande neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jadson Marques, Agencia O Globo)

At least 100 people have been killed in Rio de Janiero state as the most torrential rains in a decade flooded homes and triggered deadly landslides. The government has declared a state of emergency as rescuers dig through mud burying Rio shanty towns in a desperate bid to unearth survivors after 11 inches of rain pelted the city in 24 hours. Heartsick parents pulled infants from the sodden earth and searchers handed bodies down long, grim chains of helping human hands.

"The situation is chaos," said Mayor Eduardo da Costa Paes. "All the major streets of the city are closed because of the floods. Every person who attempts to enter them will be at enormous risk," he warned. He called the city's ability to deal with such flooding "less than zero." One resident complained to the BBC that the "city has been abandoned by our government," and another said Rio is "on the brink of total collapse." Rains continue to pelt Rio. (More Rio de Janeiro stories.)

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