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Brazil: Heavy Rainfall Claims 25 Lives and Displaces Thousands

Brazil faced heavy rainfall triggering floods and landslides across the southeastern states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. The rainfall, following a record heatwave has left at least 25 people dead and thousands displaced from their homes.

Brazil: Heavy Rainfall Claims 25 Lives and Displaces Thousands

Also Read: World Water Crisis Threatens Peace, UN Report

The storm triggered rains and landslides across the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo has claimed the lives of at least 25 people.

With 15 reported deaths, in the municipality of Mimoso do Sul. In this rural enclave, within 74 kilometers south of the state capital, Vitória, the toll of human contrasts with the town’s modest population of 25,000. Alongside the tally of fatalities, nearly 5,400 individuals have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Houses collapsed in Petropolis due to landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. Rescue efforts temporarily halted due to the risk of additional landslides.

Heavy rainfall recorded in parts of southeastern Brazil, exceeding twice the average monthly rainfall in just 24 hours. Cumulative rainfall totals close to 250mm over the weekend, surpassing the monthly average.

Petropolis experienced over 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) of rain on Saturday alone, compared to the monthly average of 14 centimeters for March.

Concerns about weather-related hazards were raised by mayors and governors of the southeastern region prior to the weekend.

Rio authorities declared an administrative holiday and advised residents to stay indoors as the storm approached.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva acknowledged the role of climate change in extreme weather events.
Meteorologists had predicted severe storms, with the president highlighting the thousands left homeless by the weather turmoil.

Also Read: WMO Issues Red Alert on Climate Crisis After Record Heat

Rescue teams comprising soldiers, firefighters, and search dogs have mobilized to comb through the debris and flooded landscapes. Their mission, to locate and extricate survivors trapped amidst the wreckage left by the storm’s fury.

Despite facing challenges, including treacherous terrain and the looming specter of further landslides, these dedicated responders press forward driven by a shared commitment to alleviate suffering and restore hope.

The cataclysmic convergence of extreme weather events, including a record heatwave preceding the deluge, underlines the specter of climate change haunting Brazil.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, acknowledging the climate crisis’s exacerbating role with the storm’s victims while pledging governmental collaboration with local authorities to mitigate future risks.

Meteorological warnings had heralded the storm’s approach, prompting preemptive measures such as the declaration of administrative holidays and advisories urging residents to seek shelter.

Rescue teams comprising soldiers, firefighters, and rescue dogs are actively engaged in search and rescue operations across affected areas. Efforts are underway to reach isolated individuals and provide necessary assistance.

State and local authorities, in coordination with the government, are mobilizing resources to protect, prevent, and repair flood damage.

Also Read: World’s Most Polluted Cities, World Air Quality Report 2023

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