With 136 deaths, Petrópolis publishes an alert on fake news

With 136 deaths, Petrópolis publishes an alert on fake news

The spread of fake news related to the impacts of the rains worries the municipal authorities of Petrópolis. The situation was the reason for an alert made this afternoon (18) by Mayor Rubens Bomtempo.With 136 deaths, Petrópolis publishes an alert on fake news

“It’s full of fake news. People who don’t care about people, who don’t love Petrópolis. They are creating factoids. They came to say now that a large water main had burst, that the city was going to be flooded. It doesn’t exist,” he said.

Yesterday (17), reports of a church collapsing in the center of the city and the rolling of a rock in the 24 de Maio community were circulated by Whatsapp. In both cases, it was fake news.

Faced with this situation, the prefecture released a note advising residents to seek information from reliable sources. According to the text, the official channels of the City Hall and reliable press vehicles are the most appropriate places for the population to keep up to date.

“Petrópolis has traditional newspapers, television channels and radios, as well as pages on the internet and social networks that carry out serious journalism. Because of Tuesday’s rains, national media outlets are also in town this week. So, there are many reliable vehicles, and the population should always seek information through them, as well as through the City Hall’s social networks. It is always necessary to be careful with the information that comes through Whatsapp,” said the city’s social communication coordinator, Philippe Fernandes.


The rains on Tuesday (15) were, according to the government of Rio de Janeiro, the worst ever recorded in the city since 1932. So far, 136 deaths have been confirmed. The Fire Department and the municipal Civil Defense have been working in the search and evacuation of risk areas.

Drone images of the slopes of landslides in Petrópolis, as a result of the heavy rains that hit the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro

Drone footage of slope landslide areas in Petrópolis – TV Brazil

There is concern about further landslides, given the forecast of more rain over the weekend. Residents received a cell phone message sent by the municipal Civil Defense warning of the possibility of moderate to heavy rain.

Another concern involves the transmission of disease. The Health Department advises people who have had contact with flood water or who have had skin lesions to be aware of possible symptoms.

People who are not up to date with the vaccination schedule should look for one of the eight health posts dedicated to updating the dose schedule of the tetanus immunizer. This vaccine requires a booster every ten years.

Attention must also be paid to the possibility of the occurrence of other diseases such as leptospirosis, acute diarrheal diseases and hepatitis A. However, to date, there have been no reports of cases.


Castelânea neighborhood in Petrópolis, after heavy rains that hit the Serrana region of Rio

More than 140 vehicles that obstructed the city’s roads were removed – Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil

Work in the city is advancing. According to the prefecture informed earlier, more than 140 cars that were washed away by the rains and were scattered around the city were removed from streets and rivers.

Many of them were blocking roads and even making it difficult for people to move, as they ended up on the sidewalks. The state government, through the Department of Infrastructure and Works, estimates that it has already collected more than 15,000 tons of waste such as rubble, mud, clay, vegetation and vehicles.

To assist in the search, firefighters from other states in the country are being sent as reinforcement. There are already approximately 80 military personnel who add to the contingent of more than 500 of the Rio de Janeiro corporation.

They come from 14 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. The reinforcement also involves 36 sniffer dogs.

With the experience of acting in major tragedies in recent years involving mining dams in Mariana (MG) and Brumadinho (MG), the Minas Gerais Fire Department announced today (18) the dispatch of 14 military specialists in rescues in collapsed structures. Two dogs that in 2019 acted in the searches in Brumadinho were also taken, in addition to technological equipment.

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