Casualties in the Brazilian city of Petropolis due to unprecedented rainfalls and landslides have reached an all-time-high number of 176, at a place where other natural disasters years ago have already left hundreds of people dead.
As Monday dawned with no preciptitations, relief work could resume, particularly the search for 126 people who have been reported missing. There were also over 200 dead pets, according to official sources.
In 1988, 171 people lost their lives due to rains and mud avalanches and in 2011 there were 71 fatalities in Petrópolis alone when over 900 people perished all across the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Local fire brigades with help from teams sent in by seven other Brazilian states Monday resumed the search for those missing in the city's mountaineous areas, but new rains were forecast for Petropolis later in the day.
In the past few days, as relief squad halted their operations out of precaution, groups of neighbors looked for their loved ones with little gear or expertise, Folha de Sao Paulo reported.
The number of firefighters dispatched by the Rio government was lower than that claimed by the authorities, which prompted complaints from the over 800 people who have been displaced from their homes, according to UOL.
The Government of the United States has pledged donations worth US $ 90,000 of hygiene products for the victims.
Other reports released Monday mentioned some 200 people injured by Sunday evening, while at least 24 people have been rescued alive from the rubble.
Authorities also said they had been able to identify 124 bodies, including 28 children.
Petrópolis City Council officials said 856 people had been housed in emergency shelters since rains began Tuesday. They also advised local residents not to leave their homes, while the roads were being cleaned.