Brazil floods and mudslides claim over 511 lives
Mudslides and floods in Brazil have claimed the lives of over 511 people in areas just north of Rio de Janeiro over the past two days (January 12-14, 2011), and more rain is expected over the weekend, according to several news outlets. Flood waters swept through many homes and buildings near steep-sloped hills, as the first-hand video below shows.
The Associated Press reports that this is Brazil’s worst natural disaster since a flood in 1967 that killed 785 people. Meteorologist Jeff Masters of The Weather Underground reports unusually high ocean water temperatures near Rio de Janeiro. The warmer water is thought to have released more water vapor into the air, which fed the deadly storm system.