At least 31 people have been killed by flooding in southern Brazil. Severe weather with heavy rainfall has particularly affected the state of Rio Grande do Sul. At least 1,600 people have had to leave their homes, the authorities report.
At least 60 cities have been hit by storms since Monday. The rain has now stopped, but more flooding is expected in the coming days due to more rain.
Governor Eduardo Leite speaks of the highest number of deaths caused by a climate-related disaster in the state. Fifteen bodies were found in one house in the town of Mucum on Tuesday. The fear is that the death toll will rise further.
‘We have to leave this place’
“The water came very quickly,” Mucum resident Marcos Antonio Gomes told the AP news agency. “The water level rose two meters in an hour.” The 55-year-old businessman says this is the fourth time in 15 years that his house has been damaged by flooding, and the worst. “We’ll have to leave this place.”
View images of the devastation caused by the storm here:
A search is underway for survivors. Rescue teams are now active about 150 kilometers northwest of the capital of the state of Porto Alegre. Many victims are also reported in this city.
President Lula da Silva has expressed his condolences to victims of the disaster. He has sent two ministers to help with the aftermath of the floods.
The large country is regularly hit by floods. Earlier this year, more than 50 people were killed in the state of Sao Paulo. There was then a record amount of rain: 682 millimeters in 24 hours.
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