Fatal Floods Become 1st Challenge for New Brazilian President

World | January 16, 2011, Sunday // 11:54|  views

A handout photograph provided by Brazilian Presidency shows Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff (L), along Rio de Janeiro state Governor, Sergio Cabral (C), speaking to Civilian Defense personnel and rescuers in Nova Friburgo, the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The natural disaster in the State of Rio de Janeiro has turned the first serious challenge for Brazil's new President, Dilma Rousseff, just two weeks after her inauguration.

Floods in Rio killed over 550 people in one of the worst disasters in the country's history.

On the day of the tragedy, Rousseff, who is from Bulgarian descent, toured the flooded areas in Nova Friburgo, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, wearing rubber boots.

Editors, even those often critical towards her, applauded her reaction, calling the new President an effective leader, who has inherited the policies of her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but still can impose her own management style.

"The first woman to lead this country of 190 million must show her capability to make specific changes, now, when the tragedy is largely attributed to lack of investments in prevention and political recklessness," local media writes.

Politicians, including Rousseff, have highlighted the practice of people illegally building homes on the sides of mountains.

The President has vowed to stop such a disaster happening again, and has earmarked USD 480 in emergency funding for the affected areas.

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Tags: Dilma Rousseff, floods, Rio de Janeiro, Nova Friburgo


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