Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

At Least 8 Dead, 21 Missing Due to Heavy Rains in Brazil

Thu 02 May 2024 | 09:50 AM
Israa Farhan

Authorities in Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil, have reported the deaths of at least 8 people and the disappearance of 21 others following heavy rains in the region.

The Civil Defense announced in a press statement yesterday morning that approximately 1400 individuals have been evacuated from over 100 municipalities in the state, with most being relocated to temporary shelters.

State Governor Eduardo Leite, speaking on the X platform, stated, "We continue to work intensively to find the missing individuals and ensure safety in the at-risk areas," while confirming expectations of "further rainfall."

Many remote areas are currently deprived of aid due to bridge collapses and landslides, with a plea issued to avoid certain roads for travel.

Since Tuesday, the Civil Protection service has been focusing its efforts on rescuing families trapped in their homes, many of whom have sought refuge on rooftops.

Leite has requested federal government assistance in providing aerial support for rescue operations, emphasizing the mobilization of rapid response teams to deal with "life-threatening situations."

President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva has ordered aid to be dispatched, attributing the disaster to "climate change," with the armed forces participating in rescuing individuals stranded in hard-to-reach areas.

In the small town of Encantado, residents attempted to travel on foot or by motorcycle along roads submerged by floods, according to footage from Agence France-Presse.

In Rio Grande do Sul state, around 130,000 people are suffering from disruptions to drinking water, telephone, and internet services in at least 60 municipalities.

Meteorological estimates suggest the possibility of rainfall approaching 300 millimeters in some areas, with river levels reaching "higher than warning thresholds."

In late March, heavy rains in southeastern Brazil led to the deaths of 25 people in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, with the south and southeast of Brazil being affected by a cold front following an intense heatwave.