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Dozens killed and roads turned into rivers as record-breaking floods hit Brazil | World news

Rain has lashed Rio Grande do Sul state, leaving dozens missing and thousands displaced as floods destroy roads and bridges. In some cities, water levels are at their highest level since measurements began.


Friday May 3, 2024 11:23 PM, UK

Heavy rains in southern Brazil have killed 37 people, according to local authorities, while dozens are still missing.

More than 70 people are missing and at least 23,000 people are missing displaced people in Rio Grande do SulThis was reported by the state civil protection agency.

In some cities, water levels are at their highest since records began almost 150 years ago, Brazil’s Geological Survey said.

It said the floods are the worst to hit the state in more than 80 years, surpassing that of a historic deluge in 1941.

In several cities, roads have turned into rivers, destroying bridges and the storm has led to landslides and the partial collapse of a dam structure at a hydroelectric power station.



Image:
A drone view of Lajeado in Rio Grande do Sul. Photo: Jeff Botega/Agencia RBS via Reuters

Residents near a second dam in the town of Bento Goncalves have been ordered to evacuate as fears of another collapse grow.

“It is 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 on social media.

He added that the number of deaths is likely to rise as authorities have been unable to reach some locations.



Image:
A bird’s eye view of the flooding in Sao Sebastiao do Cai, in Rio Grande do Sul. Photo: AP



Image:
The devastation in Lajaedo. Photo: Jeff Botega/Agencia RBS via Reuters

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

The state is located at a geographic meeting point between tropical and polar atmospheres, which has caused periods of intense rainfall and other periods of drought.

Scientists believe that this pattern has increased due to climate change.



Image:
In several cities, roads have turned into rivers. Photo: AP

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Last September, the state was hit by heavy rains 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.

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