Death toll in Rio de Janeiro landslides climbs to 12

April 3, 2022 GMT

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The death toll from heavy rains and landslides in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state rose to at least 12 people, the state’s firefighters said Sunday, and local authorities asked for the shutdown of a nuclear power plant.

Heavy rains across the state began on Thursday night and continued through Saturday. Firefighters confirmed the deaths of six people in Angra, about a three-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro city, and six more deaths in the nearby municipalities of Paraty and Mesquita. At least 16 people were still missing.

The mayor of Angra dos Reis, Fernando Jordão, on Sunday asked federal authorities to shut down Brazil’s only nuclear power plant, saying nearby roads had been affected by landslides and flooding, jeopardizing the plant’s emergency plans.

But Eletrobras Eletronuclear, the company operating the plant, said in a statement that its emergency plan was not compromised. “The obstructions on this road are outside the emergency planning zones,” it said.