At least 500 people are dead and thousands more are trapped in their homes in the mountainous region north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where heavy rains have pushed mud down the slopes, burying buildings. About 14,000 people have been displaced by the torrential summer rains and mudslides; several neighborhoods and small towns were completely destroyed. Rescue workers are rushing to free the trapped, working around the clock and using heavy equipment to move the mud. But even they are hampered by the weather: three firefighters were swept away when there car was overtaken by a flash flood. President Dilma Rousseff has promised seven tons of medicine for the area, and signed a decree authorizing an emergency fund. The Brazilian military have set up a field hospital, and thousands are taking refuge in gymnasiums.