Natural disasters

Rio de Janeiro landslide kills 14, destroys at least nine homes

  • Heavy rain caused a huge boulder to roll down a slope on Saturday
PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 November, 2018, 3:14am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 November, 2018, 3:14am

At least 14 people have died in Brazil after a landslide struck their homes in the southeastern city of Niteroi in Rio de Janeiro state, officials said Sunday.

The tragedy struck in the early hours of Saturday after heavy rainfall caused a huge boulder to slide down a slope, hitting at least nine homes and a pizzeria.

Eleven people were rescued alive on Saturday, but four who remained missing were found dead in the early hours of Sunday, according to locals. Two people rescued remained in critical condition.

“It rained a lot over the past two days, Niteroi was in a state of attention and alert … The community was advised of the situation, with the recommendation that they find safe places to stay,” fire chief Roberto Robadey told Globo News.

Niteroi Mayor Rodrigo Neves told a press conference the area was not considered to be high risk.

But neighbourhood association president Claudio dos Santos said one of the homes on the precarious slope had been vacated some time ago due to the risk of collapse.

Robadey said early information suggested not all the houses were occupied at the time of the landslide.

In 2010 nearly 50 people died in a landslide following heavy rains in Niteroi, which is connected to Rio de Janeiro city by a stretching bridge.