A cyclone that hit southern Brazil killed 21 people, the governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul announced on Tuesday, lamenting “the worst toll for a climatic event” in his region. “Unfortunately, I received information that 15 bodies were found in the municipality of Muçum, bringing the death toll to 21,” Governor Eduardo Leite told a press conference.

In June, another cyclone killed 16 people in the same state located on the border with Uruguay and Argentina. The governor said that several dozen firefighters had been mobilized and that “several hundred people” had been rescued.

Helicopters were used to evacuate isolated residents, with some roads completely unusable due to flooding.

More than 25,000 people from around 60 towns were affected by the torrential rains, which caused “landslides and flooding”, local authorities said in a statement.

According to Wolnei Wollf Barreiros, Secretary of Civil Defense of Rio Grande do Sul, more than 300 millimeters of rain have fallen in this state in the last 24 hours. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his “solidarity” with the victims and assured that the federal government “was ready to come to the aid” of Rio Grande do Sul.

Brazil has been hit in recent years by deadly weather, whose links to climate change are not excluded by experts. The effects are all the more devastating in a context of uncontrolled urbanization, with many poor populations living in precarious hillside housing.

At least 65 people died in February in floods and landslides caused by torrential rains in the state of Sao Paulo (southeast). About 9.5 million of Brazil’s 203 million people live in areas at risk of flooding or landslides.


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Source : labelradar

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