Brazil's spectacular city of Rio de Janeiro is waging a war against its encircling mountains to protect the growing number of shanty towns that are spreading on to their lower slopes.
AERIAL VIEWS Rio and crumbling cliffs nearby, shored up with concrete posts.
GV Men working on concrete retaining walls. (2 shots)
CU Drilling holes for steel pins and PAN TO shoreing. (2 shots)
TV Road protected by barrier.
GV PAN FROM City buildings TO construction work in progress on mountainside. (3 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT Bulldozer working after collapse of building on slope.
GV Hillside PAN DOWN TO cityscape. (2 shots)
MS Workings, PULL OUT TO GV of working in progress.
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Background: Brazil's spectacular city of Rio de Janeiro is waging a war against its encircling mountains to protect the growing number of shanty towns that are spreading on to their lower slopes. Erosion has created the danger of serious landslides, and the numerous shanty town inhabitants are in increasing peril. Now the bulldozers and experts from the Government's Geotecnica Institute are working to shore up the slopes and avert catastrophe.
SYNOPSIS: Rio de Janeiro's Sugar Loaf Mountain, rising a sheer 1,296 feet (395 metres) from sea level, is one of the South American continents most famous views. It has dominated the prospect of the city since its founding. But since its birth, Rio has faced problems from its mountainous setting. Since the 1930s things have been aggravated by the creation and rapid growth of shanty towns on the slopes of the Serra da Carioca and Serra Dos Tres Rios ranges. Now the shanty towns, or Favelas, with their tens of thousands of inhabitants, face a growing peril of rockslides. The mountains that shelter them could literally bury them.
Men of the Geotecnica toil daily to try and avert disaster. In the 1960s heavy rains caused severe landslides with much loss of life. It is some thing the Government and the inhabitants of the Favelas fear could happen again.
Modern technology is brought to bear on the problem, and walls of reinforced concrete rise to hold back the crumbling mountains.
The weather and natural erosion is responsible for much of the problem. So too is development. Trees are felled to make way for the Favelas and rock is quarried. Even in 1556, when Castelo Hill in the city centre was built upon, there were problems with erosion.
Despite the work, there are sometimes catastrophes. Here a bulldozer clears a collapsed building.
In ten years, the Brazilian government has spent 170,000 cruzeiros on the problems-which is about 12,000,000 dollars. But so far it has found no lasting solution. Areas in imminent danger are cleared and the rockface shored up, but within days the shanties are springing up again.