The death toll in Petrópolis, in the mountainous region of Rio, rose to 138, as announced today (19) by the Civil Defense. The Legal Medical Institute (IML) of Rio de Janeiro identified 91 bodies of victims of the tragedy in the municipality, also called Imperial City.
According to the latest data from the Petrópolis city hall, 72 victims were buried in the downtown cemetery. The day after the storm, a person was buried. On Thursday there were 17 and yesterday (18) there were 35 burials. Today until 11:30 am, 19 burials were held.
According to the Secretary of State for the Civil Police of Rio (Sepol), until 10 am today (19) the IML had received 133 corpses and three remains. Among the victims, 82 are women and 51 men. The total number of people rescued alive remains at 24.
According to the latest data from the Petrópolis city hall, 53 victims were buried in the downtown cemetery. The day after the storm, a person was buried. On Thursday there were 17 and yesterday (18) there were 35 burials.
On the fifth day of searches for the missing and recovery of the city, the forecast by the State Center for Monitoring and Alerts for Natural Disasters of Rio de Janeiro (Cemaden-RJ) for the next few hours is for moderate to heavy rain in the city. Monitoring teams continue to send alerts to the population and monitor weather conditions.
Petrópolis was devastated by a storm on Tuesday (15) and until this Saturday it suffers from rain that still makes the weather unstable and worrying. The soggy soil and the return of rain during the days represent risks of new landslides.
Since Tuesday, the Military Fire Department of the State of Rio de Janeiro has been carrying out search and rescue work for victims for 24 hours. More than 500 soldiers work in actions distributed across all critical locations.
According to the firefighters, the three main areas are the Alfa, Bravo and Charlie sectors, which cover regions such as Morro da Oficina, Rua Teresa, Alto da Serra, Chácara Flora, Vila Felipe, Caxambu and neighboring towns. The Central Command Post was set up in the 15th Petrópolis Group.
Sniffer dog support
The RJ Fire Department reported that, through the National Fire Brigade (Ligabom), operations are supported by 79 military personnel and 36 sniffer dogs from corporations in other states. São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, Mato Grosso do Sul, Maranhão, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná sent teams to Petrópolis.
The effects of the rain caused 675 calls to the Civil Defense, according to data up to early yesterday evening. Until that moment, the teams had provided assistance in 30 locations. Of the total, 546 were related to landslides and 98 were structural risk assessments. The city’s Social Assistance assisted 967 people who needed to be accommodated in the 19 support points installed in public schools in the city.
The Civil Defense also reported that, among the locations that received support from its agents and members of other state and federal government agencies in the joint operations, are Morin, Praça Pasteur, Rua Teresa, Floresta, Saldanha Marinho, Mosela, Chácara Flora, Estrada da Saudade, Rua Hermogênio Silva, São Sebastião, Thouzet, Siméria, Independência, Taquara, Quitandinha, Bingen, Bairro Castrioto, Retiro, Roseiral, Parque São Vicente, Alagoas, Rio de Janeiro, Rua Ceará, Coronel Veiga, Meio da Serra, Vila São José, Vila Militar, Rua Itália, 24 de Maio and Jardim Salvador.
Also according to the Civil Defense, in these places the calls were due to landslides and the only region with the rescue of victims was that of Chácara Flora. “At least 30 people were identified under the rubble in the locality,” he said.
Classes only after carnival
Because of the tragedy, the Municipal Secretary of Education decided that the forecast for the return of classes for the entire education network in the municipality is for after carnival, which this year will be on February 26, 27 and 28 and March 1 .
*Article changed at 12:25 pm to update the death numbers