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Rio monument closed

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15 April 2010

Last week’s landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 246 people, officials said, as the city’s famous eight-decade-old Christ statue was cut off for the first time.

Engineers this week conducted preliminary safety studies and assessments within the Tijuca Forest - the world’s largest urban forest - to determine when the park could be reopened and on what work would be needed to prevent future slides.

Maintenance work to repair the damaged railway and road - which carry two million tourists each year - is expected to take at least four months, although no official statement has been released.

According to AFP, Rio’s Mayor Eduaro Paes estimated the cost of the repairs to the damage caused by the disaster to be between 73 and 93 million pounds.

"Yesterday, we completed a large part of the assessments with regard to the repair of the city... the repaving of streets, clean-up of riverbeds among other things," Paes told reporters.

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