Mudslide kills 14 in Rio do Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO – At least 14 people have been killed after a hillside collapsed in a poor neighborhood near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil over the weekend.

On Saturday, the mudslide buried six homes in the municipality of Niteroi following days of heavy rains in the area. Among the dead are three minors and two elderly people.

Rescue teams managed to rescue 11 people from the rubble, including a baby and two children. Four people are believed to be missing.

Nearly 200 firefighters and civil defense workers have been working to clear away debris.

The landslide, which occurred in predawn hours when most residents were still sleeping, affected the neighborhood of Morro da Boa Esperanca in Niteroi, a town that lies within Rio’s metropolitan area.

The area is vulnerable to such disasters, and another 25 homes have been evacuated in case of a second landslide.

Heavy storms are common during the Brazilian spring and summer. Landslides can often be fatal due to terrain and irregular construction on hillsides. In 2010, around 300 landslides in the hills of Rio killed more than 250 people.