Sunday, 16 January 2011

Brazil rains death toll rises

Brazil, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Rains that devastated a mountainous region north of Rio de Janeiro have killed at least 611 people, Brazil's Civil Defense agency said on Sunday, as forecasts of more storms and fears of disease outbreaks overshadowed rescue operations.

Nearly five days after rains sparked floods and massive landslides in one of Brazil's worst natural disasters, the death toll continues to rise steadily as rescuers dig up corpses buried by rivers of mud and reach more remote areas.

TV images showed rescue workers looking for people under mounds of debris, a task made difficult by more rain on Saturday and forecast of more downpours on Sunday.

O Globo newspaper said the army has helped with the rescue of 110 families in isolated areas in Teresopolis, where 263 people have died, but victims increasingly complain about what they see as a lack of government help in distributing basic goods and finding bodies.

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