Wednesday, April 14

File under Signs and Portents: Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue cut off by mudslides

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue was named one of the new wonders of the world in 2007, and is visited by two million tourists a year. The statue has towered over Rio de Janeiro for the past eight decades. Access to the statue was cut off for the first time in its 80-year history when Tijuca National Park's Corcovado mountain on which it sits was hit by severe mudslides, park officials said. Roads were blocked by debris.

Work is underway to clear the debris and mend roads, and Rio de Janeiro state's governor said as many as 150 bodies could still be underneath the mud in the Morro do Bumba shanty town. Set in the municipality of Niteroi, across the bay from the city of Rio, Morro do Bumba was built on top of a disused landfill, making it prone to landslides. In Rio de Janeiro city, most of the landslide victims were residents of shanty towns, where about a fifth of Rio de Janeiro's population live.

Quotes taken from BBC report today.

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