31 May 2022
Images of the deadly landslides in Recife, Brazil
Over the last few days heavy rainfall has triggered another wave of deadly landslides in urban areas in Brazil, this time in the Recife area. As of this morning reports indicate that 93 people have died in the rains, with 26 more missing.
One of the worst events occurred in the Jardim Monte Verde neighbourhood, in the southwest part of the metropolitan area of Recife. Here, a large landslide inundated a number of houses at the foot of the slope:-
This appears to be a landslide in heavy weathered and denuded residual soil, probably with some element of static liquefaction, judging by the debris and the runout. At least 20 people were killed at this site, including eleven members of a single family.
There were also landslides in Camaragibe city. UOL News has this image of another large failure in residual soil, with a possible smaller failure further around the slope:-
Reports indicate that at least six people have been killed in landslides in Camaragibe.
Once again the deadly cost of urban landslides in Brazil is evident. The country has suffered multiple events of this type over the years, and more will occur in the future. A paper published a few years ago (Bandeiro and Coutinho 2015) recorded 214 landslide fatalities in the Recife area between 1984 and 2012, and noted that “… the management activities in risk areas in Brazil need to be upgraded (structural and non-structural actions). Many people are living in a risk situation on hillsides and it is impossible to eliminate this risk in the short term.”
Bandeiro, A.P.N. and Coutinho, R.Q. 2015. Critical Rainfall Parameters: Proposed Landslide Warning System for the Metropolitan Region of Recife, PE, Brazil. Soils and Rocks, 38 , 27-48.