After the heat wave, the floods: heavy rains in southern Brazil leave seven dead and thousands displaced

After the heat wave, the floods: heavy rains in southern Brazil leave seven dead and thousands displaced

At least seven people died and six thousand were left homeless due to the heavy rains that have hit southern Brazil since the beginning of the week, which caused floods and landslides, local authorities said today.

71 municipalities are in an emergency situation, in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, in an area where, last September, more than 50 people died from the effects of an extratropical cyclone.

According to the vice-governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Gabriel Sousa, three people died in Rio Grande do Sul, two of them when their house collapsed in Gramado, a tourist city 100 kilometers from Porto Alegre.

“Unfortunately, the three deaths have already been confirmed. A lot of destruction and thousands of people are sheltering in gyms in the affected municipalities”, said Gabriel Sousa.

At least 31,000 people were affected by the rains in Rio Grande do Sul and more than 1,600 had to be evacuated from their homes. Several cities, including Roca Sales, were affected due to the overflow of water from the Taquari River.

According to Agence France-Presse, dozens of volunteers were trying to clean the city’s streets today, some of which were completely covered by the brown waters of the Taquari or mud and full of trees.

The bad weather also caused three other deaths in the state of Santa Catarina, in the north of Rio Grande do Sul, two of which are women living in the city of Taio, who died on Thursday, and another is a man who died on Friday. fair in Palmitos, with a fourth person still missing.

In recent months, the southern region of Brazil has been affected by extreme weather conditions, namely torrential rains and a cyclone that killed more than 50 people in September. According to experts, these phenomena, caused by climate change, tend to repeat themselves.

The governor of Santa Catarina declared a state of emergency in 64 municipalities due to the heavy rains that began on Tuesday. In the four cities most affected by rain in the state of Santa Catarina, it rained more than twice the normal amount for November in three days.

Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Climate crisis

During the week, the southeast, central-west and part of northern Brazil were hit by an extreme heat wave. Last week, thermometers reached records in 15 states, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

In the capital of Rio, the temperature exceeded 43 degrees, but with a recorded thermal sensation of almost 60 degrees, in places such as the football stadium, where a 23-year-old girl died last Friday, after spending hours in intense heat, to watch singer Taylor Swift’s concert.

The week began with milder temperatures, but there is a warning about the worsening of climate extremes in Brazil, with the forecast that the El Ninho phenomenon will reach the peak of its activity in December, when summer officially begins in the southern hemisphere. .

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