Brazilian landslide toll touches 72

An aerial view of the hill at Angra dos Reis shows the bare area where a landslide buried a hotel. (AFP)

Rescue teams scoured ravines and hillsides yesterday searching for survivors of landslides that have killed 72 people in the past days as hopes dimmed with each passing hour. It is still not known if there were foreigners among the dead.

Searchers found four bodies on Monday in Angra dos Reis, a beach city 150 kilometres south of Rio de Janeiro and firefighters said they thought more bodies could still be found.

"One of the bodies was that of a baby who was not on the list of the missing. This baby was probably with adults who also were buried," said Pedro Machado, a civil defense official.

Some Angra inhabitants began evacuating their homes on Monday. "There's an imminent danger of new landslides," Mayor Tuca Jordao said.

Two nuclear plants close to the southern Brazilian town hit by landslides may shut down as a precaution, the mayor said. "There are no operational problems at Angra I and Angra II... but if landslides persist in the hills, we'll need to shut them down," Jordao said.

 

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