It is disasters like this which should force ourselves to look at the fundamentals of landslide and slope failures. For such huge mass of earth to slide, the undermining weakness (sub-bedrock erosion) had to develop for a long time to fail at the last heavy downpour. Thus, we need to study the sub-bedrock erosion problems and do the necessary mediation before such catastrophes strike again. Unfortunately, nobody is looking at the real fundamental problems at depths (>50 to 100 m deep); only the superficial drainage and soil structure down to 20 or 30 m deep only.
- commented by BK Lim
Jan 14, 2011
-- PHOTO: AP
More than 500 dead in Brazil's worst-ever disaster
TERESOPOLIS (Brazil) - BRAZIL is suffering its worst-ever natural disaster after mudslides near Rio de Janeiro that killed more than 500 people, according to the latest toll on Friday.
Municipal officials in the Serrana region just north of Rio told reporters that at least 506 people were killed, surpassing the 437 killed in a 1967 mudslide tragedy that 'up until now seen as the biggest (disaster) in Brazil,' according to the news website G1.
It was feared more bodies were yet to be discovered as rescuers finally arrived in villages cut off because of destroyed roads and bridges in the region.
Efforts to locate survivors and bodies were going on under the risk of further mudslides, as rain continued to fall on the waterlogged region, making it even more unstable.
'It's very overwhelming. The scenes are very shocking,' President Dilma Rousseff said after visiting the area on Thursday.
She pledged 'strong action' by her government, which has already released US$470 million (S$605 million) in initial emergency aid and sent seven tons of medical supplies. The catastrophe was seen as her first big test since taking power two weeks ago, taking over from her popular predecessor, Mr Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. -- AFP