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Brazilian Mudslides Show Need For Disaster Preparedness

January 19, 2010 by  

Brazilian mudslides show need for disaster preparednessDuring the New Year’s holiday, torrential rains swept the southeast coast of Brazil, causing catastrophic mudslides that killed at least 75 people and resulted in millions of dollars in property damage.

According to media reports, the town that received the brunt of the devastation was a popular resort town of Angra dos Reis, two hours west of Rio de Janeiro, where at least 44 individuals perished. Many of the victims were found in a poorer neighborhood where houses and huts had been built on slopes.

The town is also home to one of Brazil’s major nuclear plants, and there have been calls for temporarily closing the facility due to safety concerns.

Such devastating mudslides can and do happen in the United States, where they are estimated to kill 25 to 50 people every year.

However, the Emergency Survival Information Center says there are many ways to protect households from this type of danger.

First, it recommends refraining from building houses near steep slopes, close to mountain edges, near drainage ways or natural erosion valleys. Families who live in such areas should get a ground assessment of their property and consult a professional about possible corrective measures.

For those caught in a landslide, the experts suggest moving away from the path of the mud, earth or debris flow as quickly as possible. If escape is not possible, it is best to curl into a tight ball to protect the head.

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  • Time

    STOP cutting down the trees! Problem solved.

  • http://Don'thaveone Sally

    You are right time!! Isn’t it amazing that we didn’t hear a peep about this on the news or anywhere, and no relief went to them but Haiti OMB with handouts all over.

  • Time


    Haiti, we are looking at “OIL RIGHTS,” so thats why the all hupla..

  • Debbie

    Does it not dawn on anyone that this is a matter of humanity, not oil, not politics, not religious or anything. What has happened to man in this world. To see those people suffering as they are, the loss of life is unbelievable and huge..Are we so blind in our lifestyles that we cannot percieve daily pain and suffering and then catastrophe. Everyone of us in the US should live one day in their shoes and we would be devastated let alone many would not survive let alone live thru this. The emotional trauma has to be unreal let alone the starvation and thirst. I am ashamed to see the arrogance in human beings. Everyone of you whom think that this is handouts should be comdemed to life 1 yr of thier lives. You are lucky to be born where the poverty is not so overwhelming and embarrassed to believe that your life is more important and substancial than theirs.. This world will destroy itself by man alone and the greed and coldness of man itself.

    • eyeswideopen

      Debbie, finally someone who cares. Bless you.

  • jim

    Even tho I don’t believe in giving handouts, I whole heartedly believe in offering a hand up.When others are in trouble it is only human to help out.

  • Time


    Oh course anyone who see’s this as anything less than mind numbing is not dealing with a full deck. But as I pointed out the real reason our Government is involved is as simple as “OIL rights.”
    And don’t kid yourself, our government is corrupt to the core.
    What we have in there now makes the Mafia look like school girls.

    Do I feel that what happened is beyond words, in a single word, YES.

    Do I feel that we should be the main force behind the aid? NO.


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