Newspapers and TV news all over the world reported about the catastrophy in Rio in the Rain earlier this week. But – except within Brazil – few report about Rio after the Rain now… well, hopefully now is already “after the rain”, so that rescue works hopefully do not have to put up with even more challenges than they already do. The firefighters involved in the rescues are already getting support from many volunteers – but are in need of even more. For now, the rain has ceased – but the clouds are still there and eventual drizzle threatens more water.
What happened during and after the rain was – once again, similar to the situation in Angra dos Reis three months ago – that the rain turned hills into mud, which in the end slid down and took with them the houses built on these hills, most of them without official permission. This week, in Rio and Niteroi, the hill where the mudslide happened actually was not a hill but a former garbage dump, covered with soil as a landfill some 25 years ago. It was never meant to become a residential area, not authorized for construction, but for lack of another place to go, people started to build there and to call the place their home.
On TV, a lady who lost her home and her family in the most recent mudslide explained, with tears in her eyes, that authorities even had come to her house a few years ago and asked her to leave her home for security reasons. But she neither had anywhere to go, nor money or opportunity to build a new existence elsewhere, so she ended up staying. And with her, the inhabitants of the other 60 houses that slid down the “Morro do Bumba” hill in Niteroi. See the video:
While the world is turning its attention to other topics and other countries, the catastrophe in Rio and Niteroi is still dominating the news in Brazil and promises are being made that measures will be taken so that something like this will never happen again. Hopefully they will… so that in the future, when the next rain comes – and it will – all Brazilians can spend the rainy days in a way like those in this video below:
Today, the rain brings up one more proof of just how divided the Brazilian society is and how harsh the differences are between rich and poor.
With best wishes