By Sophie Squire
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2793

Brazil mudslide horror exposes Bolsonaro

Ten inches of rain in just three hours triggered large scale floods and mudslides in Brazil
Issue 2793
Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro offers empty words to mudslide victims. (Isac Nóbrega)

Up to 140 people died and 200 were reported missing after a mudslide ripped through the south eastern city of Petropolis in Brazil.

The destruction is a consequence of poor city planning that has failed to prepare for heavier rainfall. Before the mudslide hit, ten inches of rain fell in just three hours—the most in over 70 years. Far right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro visited the city this week and suggested that there was no money for climate adaptations.

He told a crowd, “A lot of times, we have no way to guard against everything that might happen.” His speech was met with anger from residents who said the government wasn’t doing enough.

A resident of the Vila Felipe neighbourhood said, “As a resident living here for 46 years, I’m sure that as soon the sun comes out and the weather stabilises, they won’t come here anymore and give attention to us. “The people, on their own, will clean things up, rebuild, and some time in the future, this will happen again.”

Only a decade ago, more than 900 people were killed in Petropolis by floods and landslides, yet adequate protections against extreme weather events weren’t made. Without adequate protection from the effects of climate change, the poorest and most vulnerable people will continue to suffer.

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