Heavy rains paralyse Rio de Janeiro as residents protest, loot
RIO DE JANEIRO (REUTERS) - Heavy rains late Tuesday, Dec 11, 2013, and Wednesday paralysed much of Rio de Janeiro, a tropical metropolis scrambling to improve infrastructure to prepare to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
More rain fell overnight around the city, Brazil's second biggest, than would normally be expected during the entire month, meteorologists said. The downpour flooded major thoroughfares, toppled houses in working class suburbs, disrupted train and flight schedules and created such chaos that Mayor Eduardo Paes asked residents to stay home.
Thousands of people in the Baixada Fluminense, a string of working-class suburbs that extends inland from central Rio, sought emergency shelter because of flooded homes.
In some of the neighbourhoods, residents protested what they considered a slow response by the authorities. Along at least one major highway, looters ransacked trucks and other vehicles that were stranded by the water.