Fri, April 09, 2010
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Searching for mudslide survivors

2010-04-09 09:41:01 GMT2010-04-09 17:41:01 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Rescue workers hunt for survivors of a deadly mudslide that hit a slum in Rio de Janeiro's neighboring town of Niteroi.

Rescue workers in Brazil sift through a massive pile of earth and debris searching for survivors amid the wreckage.

Local media outlets report two hundred people may be buried after a mudslide tore through the hillside slum city of Niteroi on Wednesday.

The heaviest rain in decades began falling Monday -- triggering hundreds of mudslides in the Rio de Janeiro region.

Officials say the death toll is now more than 150 and thousands are homeless.

This woman from the Niteroi's Bumba Hill neighborhood escaped through her window when she heard the landslide coming.

SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Marelene Pinheiro, Niteroi resident, saying:

"When it started to go 'brum, (we shouted) 'run, run, run'...We ran and everything started coming down -- the kitchen, my brother's room, the living room... But in the other room it (the landslide) stopped, so when that happened we opened the window and we jumped into the woods and ran away."

Most of the damage is concentrated in slums, where about a fifth of the area's people live, often in precarious shacks.

Bumba Hill was built on a former garbage dump.

Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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