Civil defence forces in Nova Friburgo have praised the efforts of a local group of amateur radio enthusiasts who helped them co-ordinate the rescue efforts in the first hours after the landslides in Brazil.
“Without their help, we couldn’t have done anything in those first two days,” Lt Col Roberto Robadey said of the group, which took their radio equipment to key points across the town to provide a communication link between rescue groups.
About 100 soldiers have also been deployed to the Cuiaba valley, which has been cut off since the heaviest downpours in 44 years tore through the mountainous area near Rio de Janeiro.
Rescue workers fear the number of dead will continue to rise as they reach areas which have been without communication since the rains started at the beginning of the week.
They say that with phone lines and the internet down, it is hard to tell what awaits them in the more remote mountain communities
Our thoughts go out to the families affected by this disaster.