A time to reminisce on the pleasantries and letdowns of the previous year, to have hope for a more fruitful and prosperous coming year, and to be with friends and family. Unfortunately for Brazil, their venture into the new year was met with tragedy.
Heavy rains caused mudslides and floods across Brazil, the hardest hit being the resort island Ilha Grande within Rio De Janeiro state. Twenty-six have been reported dead on the island alone, where a small luxury hotel collapsed. The hotel was booked full of patrons celebrating the new year.
Fernanda de Oliveira flocked to the island to celebrate the new year. She told the O Globo newspaper: “We came to celebrate the New Year and then all this sadness happened. We couldn’t see what was happening. It was raining hard and the water was leaking into our house.”
The southeastern part of Brazil seems to have been impacted the hardest. Landslides took the lives of 13 more in Angra dos Reis, and 19 perished in other parts of Rio de Janeiro state. The latest reports from RTE News and Sky News say that in all, 64 people are feared to be dead.
With more rain forecast for the areas affected, rescue efforts will become more treacherous. The city of Rio de Janeiro has canceled their New Year’s celebration, which was scheduled for Jan. 6, in light of this tragedy.
Reuters reports that all of the victims are Brazilian, and no foreign victims have been recorded.
John Danz, Jr. is a work in progress and loves the freedom of writing.