Brazil Weather Disaster: 145 Killed, 132 Missing

In Rio Grande do Sul, residents prepared for further hardships due to the ongoing precipitation, which followed a fortnight…….

Once again, river levels surged on Sunday as intense rainfall battered the already waterlogged southern region of Brazil, resulting in a death toll of 145 and the displacement of hundreds of thousands from their residences.

In Rio Grande do Sul, residents prepared for further hardships due to the ongoing precipitation, which followed a fortnight of relentless rains causing rivers to overflow, inundating towns and parts of the state capital.

The catastrophic deluge, impacting over two million individuals, has been attributed by experts to climate change exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

State authorities confirmed on Sunday that “virtually all major rivers in the state are experiencing rising levels,” while the National Center for Monitoring and Warning for Natural Disasters (Cemaden) warned of a “very high” likelihood of additional flooding across most regions of the state.

According to civil defense officials, 132 individuals have been reported missing, with 619,000 forced to flee their homes as of Sunday evening.

Amid ongoing rescue efforts, with 130 individuals still unaccounted for, scenes of devastation abound. In Porto Alegre’s flooded historic center, household items drifted in murky waters, while in Sao Leopoldo, submerged cars lined the streets. Elsewhere, locals navigated flooded thoroughfares by boat.

Reflecting on the situation, electrician Claudio da Silva described his neighborhood as “devastated,” with homes inundated and streets strewn with deceased animals, evoking profound sadness.

Metallurgist Antonio Vanzan expressed deep concern, highlighting the critical nature of the crisis and the looming threat of further inundation should rainfall persist.

The situation is exacerbated by the resurgence of rain, causing water levels in the Guaiba, a key estuary, to rise once more. The Taquari River’s overflow has placed the town of Mucum on alert, still reeling from a deadly cyclone last September.

Pelotas, situated south of Porto Alegre, faces an escalating crisis, prompting Mayor Paula Mascarenhas to urge the evacuation of vulnerable areas.

Despite ongoing challenges, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva conveyed solidarity with the affected populace, with over 80,000 individuals currently sheltered. The federal government has pledged approximately $10 billion for reconstruction efforts in Rio Grande do Sul.