Brazil: At least 117 dead in Petropolis floods

At least 117 people have lost their lives in floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in the tourist town of Petropolis, near Rio de Janeiro. A balance sheet that could still increase. Pope Francis expressed "his deep sadness" at this tragedy and expressed his support for the inhabitants of the devastated city. 

In the region of Petropolis in Brazil where torrential rains at the beginning of the week led to collapses and landslides, the toll continues to grow.

The showers turned streets into rivers of mud, flattened houses and overturned dozens of cars in this particularly deadly rainy season this year in Brazil, according to Agence France Presse.

THEReuters agency reveals the death toll rose to 117 on Thursday and could rise further as meteorologists expect more rain overnight.

This is the highest rainfall recorded since 1932 in Petropolis, a city known for being a tourist destination in the hills of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

In a telegram sent to the Bishop of Petropolis, Msgr. Gregório Paixão Neto, signed by the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis returned to this situation with "tragic consequences", reports Vatican News.

In this letter, François expressed his "deep sadness" at this tragedy and sent his condolences to the families of the victims. The Argentine pontiff declared that he invoked "with the merciful Father eternal rest for the deceased and the consolation of Christian hope for the whole population" before wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The Catholic media also indicates that the Brazilian bishops have launched an appeal for donations to "deal with the emergency and relieve the families".

Camille Westphal Perrier (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / Julio Ricco

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