Sunday, May 19, 2024

The death toll rises to 143 in rain- and flood-hit Brazil


Volunteers evacuate a resident through a flooded street in Porto Alegre on Sunday. Photo: Andre Penner / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 13.05.2024 02:19:33

Accidents and natural disasters: The number, which was announced by local authorities on Sunday, is an increase from 136 a day earlier.

A further 125 people are unaccounted for in the state, where the water level in several rivers continues to rise. The situation is very worrying, says a statement from the meteorological service Metsul.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promises that federal authorities will rebuild what has been destroyed in the storm, while US President Joe Biden has been in contact with Brazil’s government and offered assistance.

The rain started less than two weeks ago. Most of the precipitation fell on Sunday. The rain is expected to continue on Monday.

400,000 people have been driven from their homes. 70,000 of these have been given shelter in schools, gymnasiums and other temporary premises.

Nearly 400 villages and towns have been partially submerged in what is described as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Brazil’s southernmost state.

The state lies in a geographical divide where tropical and polar atmospheres meet. It creates weather systems that bring with them intense periods of rain or drought.

Climate experts link the torrential rain to the natural weather phenomenon El Niño, which causes drought in some parts of the world and increased rain in others.

(© NTB)


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