Southern Brazil hit by worst floods in 80 years, killing at least 37 people – Syrian Arab News Agency

SÃO PAULO, SANA – Heavy rains in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul have killed 37 people, while another 74 are missing, the state civil protection agency said on Friday, as record-breaking floods devastated towns and forced thousands from their homes to leave.

AP said it was the fourth environmental disaster in a year, following floods in July, September and November 2023 that killed a total of 75 people.

According to Brazil’s Geological Survey, the statewide flooding is greater than that of a historic deluge in 1941. In some cities, water levels were at their highest level since records began nearly 150 years ago, the agency said.

On Thursday, a dam at a hydroelectric power station between the towns of Bento Gonçalves and Cotipora partially collapsed and entire towns in the Taquari River valley, such as Lajeado and Estrela, were completely overtaken by water. In the city of Feliz, 80 kilometers from the capital, Porto Alegre, a hugely swollen river has swept away a bridge connecting the city to the neighboring town of Linha Nova.

Operators reported power, communications and water outages across the state. According to civil protection, more than 23,000 people had to leave their homes.

Mazen Eyon