May 25, 2024

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Brazil floods: People stranded on rooftops in Rio Grande do Sul

Brazil floods: People stranded on rooftops in Rio Grande do Sul
  • Written by Vanessa Buchschlotter
  • BBC News

Image source, Brazilian Air Force

At least 10 people have died and more than 20 others are missing after storms caused flooding in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Helicopters are flying over the area searching for stranded people.

In some areas, the floods were so severe that helicopters were unable to land and had to evacuate residents to safety.

The state governor has asked the federal government for help.

“President Lula, please immediately send as much air support as possible to Republika Srpska [Rio Grande do Sul]. “We need to rescue hundreds of people in dozens of municipalities who are in a state of emergency due to the heavy rains that have already fallen and will continue to fall in the coming days.” Gov. Eduardo Leite wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva responded by saying that the federal government “will join the efforts of the state and municipal governments to get through this difficult time, which is the result of climate change affecting the planet.”

According to officials, 10 people were killed. Two people died when the car they were traveling in was swept away by floodwaters in the small town of Bavirama. Another died in a landslide in Salvador do Sul.

21 people are still missing, and about 1,500 people are stranded.

The mayor of Sinembo told the G1 news site that her town was experiencing a “nightmare.”

In Candelaria, residents climbed onto their roofs after their homes were filled with water.

Bridges collapsed and more than 20 streets became impassable, making it difficult for emergency services to reach affected areas.

Meteorologists expected more rain to fall in the region as a cold front moved through.

Last year, more than 30 people were killed in a hurricane that struck Rio Grande do Sul.

The National Institute of Meteorology in Brazil attributed the increase in intensity and frequency of rainfall to the El Niño climate phenomenon.