Alexei Barrionuevo-The New York Times, 04/14/10
The incessant rain that killed at least 251 people last week has raised lingering questions about this Olympic city’s emergency readiness and revived a long-dormant debate over the poor squatter communities that have sprung up in areas at risk of flooding and landslides.
One of the worst storms in 40 years hit Rio last week, overflowing the banks of the Lagoon, crippling public transportation and sending dozens of homes built atop an old garbage dump crashing down a hillside in a neighboring city.
Sérgio Cabral, the governor of the state of Rio, announced over the weekend that the state would spend more than $570 million to build 10,000 new homes for people at risk of floods or mudslides. Eduardo Paes, Rio’s mayor, said the city would immediately remove some 4,000 families from eight slums in high-risk areas and give them a monthly stipend to help them relocate.