Couple and dog rescued after flood in Brazil that killed 37 people and left 74 missing

By Adry Torres for

22:32 May 3, 2024, updated 10:39 PM May 3, 2024

This is the moment the army rescued a couple and their dog after they were trapped in their car on a flooded street in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Footage released by the Military Brigade showed a man and a woman with their dog on top of their vehicle covered in tree branches and debris on Friday morning.

The soldier could be seen strapping a harness to the woman to lift her to the helicopter.

The military said the woman had limited mobility and was being treated for hypothermia.

A military member of Brazil’s Military Brigade rescued a couple and their dog after they were found stranded on their car surrounded by tree branches and debris in Bom Retiro do Sul, a municipality in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state
A drone image shows an area affected by Friday’s floods in Encantado, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. At least 37 people have been confirmed dead and 74 remain missing
Air Force troops escort a woman after she was rescued from a flooded neighborhood in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on Thursday

At least 37 people were killed, 74 were missing and 74 had been treated for injuries as of Friday afternoon, according to Civil Protection.

The agency said 235 of 496 cities in Brazil’s southernmost state had been severely hit by rain since Monday.

The bad weather has forced 7,165 people to leave their homes and take refuge in shelters, while 17,087 people are homeless.

The storm also caused landslides and damage to homes, roads and bridges, including one that was swept away by a flooded river.

It caused the partial collapse of a dam structure at a small hydroelectric power plant in the city of Cotiporã.

A couple is rescued from their flooded home in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, which has been battered by heavy rains since Monday that have forced 7,165 people to flee their homes and take refuge in shelters, while 17,087 people are left homeless
A man wades through a flooded street in the municipality of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre on Friday
Residents are seen with their dogs after being rescued from their homes in Porto Alegre, Brazil on Friday

A second dam in the town of Bento Goncalves is also at risk of collapse, authorities said. They ordered people living nearby to evacuate. Two other dams in the municipalities of Candela and São Martinho da Serra could also collapse at any time.

The state is located at a geographic meeting point between tropical and polar atmospheres, creating a weather pattern that includes periods of intense rainfall and other periods of drought.

Local scientists believe the pattern has increased due to climate change.

Heavy rains had already hit Rio Grande do Sul last September, when an extratropical cyclone caused flooding that killed more than 50 people.

This came after more than two years of persistent drought due to the La Nina phenomenon, with only sparse showers.

“It’s not just a critical situation; it is probably the most critical case the state has ever recorded,” Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite said in a live broadcast on social media on Thursday.

He added that the death toll is likely to rise as authorities have been unable to reach certain locations.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva traveled to the state on Thursday to visit the affected locations and discuss rescue efforts with the governor.