On Friday, torrential rain and resulting floods wreaked havoc in southeast Brazil on Friday as rescuers attempted to recover the bodies of more than 540 plus people killed as homes collapses and mudslides walloped the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The flooding caused over 13,000 people without shelter. The disaster has been deemed the deadliest of its kind since a 1967 flood which killed 785 people per reports from local news media organizations.
Witnesses report that "rivers of mud" leveled houses, threw cars on top of buildings, and left residents displaced in the Serrana mountain region. The damages have exceeded emergency and disaster plans and is expected to adversely affect Brazil's already weakened infrastructure.
Looters reportedly raided residences and stores following the mudslides and flooding in an attempt to procure food and valuables. Government officials have promised a quick relief effort but intermittent rains and showers have impeded most rescue and recovery attempts. Emergency aid and donations from across the country have backed the $780 million reais (or $460 million dollars) in federal funding designated to assist disaster relief.
Teresopolis, Campo Grande, Petropolis, Sumidouro, and Nova Frigburgo were areas hardest hit by the flood and mudslides.