39 dead as heavy floods hit Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

39 dead as heavy floods hit Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Relentless rainfall has led to catastrophic flooding in Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, claiming 39 lives and displacing over 24,000 residents. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue missions continue amidst the widespread devastation.

39 dead as heavy floods hit Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 39 dead as heavy floods hit Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Heavy floods have ravaged Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul as relentless rains have lashed the region, resulting in the loss of 39 lives. The death toll is anticipated to climb further as rescue operations continue amidst the chaos.

According to Rio Grande do Sul's civil defense authority, 68 people are still missing, with over 24,000 residents displaced by the relentless storms impacting over half of the state's 497 cities. Governor Eduardo Leite emphasised the fluidity of these figures, indicating potential changes as access to more regions improves.

Numerous towns resemble waterways as streets transform into rivers, bridges collapse, and landslides wreak havoc. Additionally, a dam structure at a small hydroelectric plant has partially collapsed, while a second dam in Bento Goncalves faces a similar risk, prompting urgent evacuations.

Porto Alegre, the state capital, grapples with the overflow of the Guaiba river, inundating streets and isolating historic central neighborhoods. This catastrophe unfolds against the backdrop of Rio Grande do Sul's unique geographical location, where tropical and polar climates converge, resulting in erratic weather patterns that scientists link to climate change.

The current disaster follows last September's floods, which claimed over 50 lives, and years of drought attributed to the La Nina phenomenon. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva personally visited affected areas to assess the situation and pledge federal support for rescue and reconstruction efforts, affirming his government's commitment to aiding the afflicted communities.

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: May 04, 2024