Lula rules out rain disturbing World Cup, OlympicsApril 9th, 2010 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS
Rio de Janeiro, April 9 (DPA) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ruled out Tuesday that rain-related problems may jeopardize the Brazil 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Mudslides and severe flooding caused by heavy rain since late Monday claimed at least 77 lives in and around Rio de Janeiro, the authorities said Tuesday.
“It does not rain everyday. Neither are there quakes everyday in Chile and Haiti. Usually, the months of June and July (when the two major sporting events are set to take place) are calmer. Rio is ready to host the Olympic Games and the World Cup, the best the world has ever known,” Lula said.
In an interview in Rio, where rain led him to cancel an event to launch public works to improve a favela (slum) Tuesday, Lula said it is necessary to wait until the rain stops to be able to plan the city’s recovery.
“We can only ask God to make the rain stop, so we can get on with life in the city,” he said.
Lula stressed, however, that his government’s resources, including the Navy, are at the disposal of Rio authorities.
“All the material help that the mayor and the governor may need is ready and at their disposal,” he stressed.
Lula said his government will help local authorities put in place a programme to move poor residents away from areas that are vulnerable to mudslides, which they occupied illegally and which became favelas.
“There needs to be a a consciousness raising effort to prevent people from occupying risk areas. We will show complete solidarity in a joint search for solutions to this problem,” Lula said.
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