Wednesday, April 7, 2010


RIO DE JANEIRO (UKPA) - The heaviest rains in Rio de Janeiro's history have triggered landslides that killed at least 95 people as rising water turned roads into rivers and paralysed Brazil's second- destruction through shantytowns. Concrete and wooden homes were crushed and hurtled downhill, only to bury other structures. A representative for the Rio de Janeiro fire department, which was coordinating rescue efforts, said 95 people were known dead and 44 more had been hospitalized. Most of the victims were from Rio's hillside shantytowns whose homes were buried under tonnes of mud and rubble. “We expect the death toll to rise,” said the official. In some parts of Rio, abandoned cars were partially submerged while others were stalled on local roads with motorists stranded inside. Civil defence officials said most of the casualties were the result of landslides in the hillside slums that ring the hilly metropolitan area of 16 million people.

Unprecedented floods in Rio de Janeiro which caused landslides overnight have forced the governor to declare a state of emergency. Traffic was halted and airports in Rio de Janeiro were shut down. “It is not advisable for people to leave their homes. Potential mudslides threatened at least 2,000 homes after eight inches (20 centimetres) of rain fell,” said Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor. Thousands of motorists were stranded overnight on highways blocked by rising floodwaters on Tuesday. The torrential rains, considered the strongest in the last 30 years, also caused power outage and the suspension of transport services, a situation that has forced to suspend classes in schools and in some workplaces.

Yesterday, flash floods and landslides killed around a hundred people and Brazil's president, Lula da Silva, said residents should "ask God" for the rain to stop. "We can only ask Him to stop the rain in Rio de Janeiro so we can go on with life in the city," he said. This has been the smartest thing a president has recently said in public.

By the order and wrath of Indra, the master of all the higher subtle elements, heavy rain began to fall. And so thunder, hail, and rain simultaneously attacked the whole of Vraja Mandala. ... So the helpless - the women, children, and animals of Vrindavana - had no alternative but to take refuge of Krishna. They all came to Krishna for relief. They cried, “O Krishna! Now what are we to do? ... How can we live? Please save us!” ... Seeing this, Krishna had much pity for them. ... At that time, with only one hand Krishna lifted up the Govardhana Mountain. ... And holding up that great mountain, Krishna gave protection to all those who were living in Gokula.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“The Loving Search for the Lost Servant”
Fourth Chapter: ‘Lord of the Cows’
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library -

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