December 2001 Disasters
- Dec. 23–31, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil: Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains killed 60–70 people, mainly in the mountain resort city of Petropolis near Rio de Janeiro on Christmas Eve. Downpours on New Year's Eve destroyed part of the historic town of Goias Velho, a United Nations World Heritage Site.
- Dec. 29, Lima, Peru: Nearly 300 people died in a massive fire that started after someone set off a firecracker, apparently to test it, in a crowded downtown street. The firecracker set off other fireworks nearby, causing a series of explosions. The blaze covered a four-block area; many of the dead were small children.
See also Recent Volcanic Activity