This disaster could have been prevented. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro and his subnational allies poorly managed policies for the prevention of natural risks.
On Thursday, the government of the State of Rio de Janeiro confirmed that the death toll from heavy rains in Petropolis rose to 104. At least 42 Brazilians are still missing in the mud and debris.
Among the fatal victims are 65 women, 36 men, and 13 minors. According to the Institute of Legal Medicine of Petropolis, only the identity of 33 victims has been fully identified.
"The deaths are mainly concentrated in the First District, where the Mayor's Office since 2017 knew about the existence of 15,240 houses located in areas at high risk of destruction due to the rains," reported Andre Vieira, teleSUR correspondent in Brazil.
In the last few hours, around 500 members of the Civil Defense, the Fire Department and other relief teams have been working intensely to remove the rubble in search of survivors. They managed to rescue 24 people alive.
The tweet reads, “Climate change is the name of it. Like Petropolis, most Brazilian cities are not prepared for the consequences of the climate crisis. The creation and implementation of adaptation plans is urgent.”
The disaster in Petropolis, however, could have been prevented. An investigation carried out by outlet Globo showed that far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and his subnational allies poorly managed policies for the prevention of natural risks.
"The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, the Bolsonarist Claudio Castro, spent only 22 percent of the budget allocated to disaster prevention and response," teleSUR correspondent recalled.
While all this is happening, "the State government keeps 'The Prince Tax', which the Petropolis inhabitants pay every time they sell a house. This tax is collected in favor of the heirs of Emperor Dom Pedro II since 1847," Vieira tweeted, highlighting the existence of this absurd municipal policy.