Rain and landslides kill 29 people in ‘worst disaster’ in southern Brazil | Flood News

The death toll in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul after heavy rains has risen to 29, with at least 60 still missing, according to the state’s civil defense agency.

Authorities in Rio Grande do Sul state have declared a state of emergency as the search continues for dozens of rescuers reported missing amid the rubble of collapsed homes, bridges and roads.

Rescuers and soldiers rushed to rescue families trapped in their homes, many stranded on rooftops to escape rising waters.

The storm affected nearly 150 municipalities across the state, leaving 36 people injured and more than 10,000 people evacuated.

Governor Eduardo Leite said Rio Grande do Sul state was “dealing with the worst disaster.” [its] “historically,” he said, adding that the death toll was expected to rise further.

On Thursday, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pledged that there would be “no shortage of human and material resources” to “minimize the suffering that this extreme event is causing in the country.” did.

Federal authorities have already deployed 626 troops, along with 12 aircraft, 45 vehicles and 12 boats, to help clear roads, distribute food, water and mattresses and set up shelters. .

Forecasters warned that the main stream of the Guaiba River, which runs through the state, had already overflowed its banks in some areas and could reach 4 meters (13 feet) on Friday.

Entire communities in Rio Grande do Sul state were completely cut off as persistent rain destroyed bridges, blocked roads and left towns without telephone or internet service.

Authorities urged people to avoid areas along state highways due to the risk of landslides, and urged people living near rivers or hillsides to evacuate.

Hundreds of thousands of people are without access to drinking water and classes have been suspended across the state.

South America’s largest country has recently been hit by a series of extreme weather events that experts say are becoming more likely due to climate change. The flooding occurred during a cold front hitting the South and Southeast following a wave of extreme heat.

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