After heavy rains: More and more deaths from landslides in Brazil

Heavy rains have already claimed many lives in Brazil. At least 84 people have died in the storm. Meanwhile, the risk of severe weather continues to grow.

At least 84 people have already died in storms that have been going on for days in northeastern Brazil. A landslide in the municipality of Jardim Monteverde alone killed 19 people on Saturday, the authorities said. Almost four thousand people had to leave their homes because of the landslides and floods in the state of Pernambuco. Head of state Jair Bolsonaro expressed his condolences to the victims of the accident and promised them help.

“We know that the help is very difficult in the first few hours. Now it’s about acting effectively,” said the governor of the state of Pernambuco, Paulo Câmara, on Sunday (local time). “I spoke to all the mayors to create a work plan and learn what actions need government support at this point.”

A state of emergency was declared in 14 towns around the port city of Recife. Governor Câmara released aid amounting to 100 million reais (19.7 million euros). The dead were registered since the storm began on Wednesday. At the weekend alone, 79 people died.

Heavy rain for days

According to civil protection, five people died as a result of the storm a few days ago. According to local media, three of them died in a landslide in Olinda, and one person died after falling into a canal in Olinda.

The metropolitan region of Recife has been hit by heavy rains since Tuesday. Flooded streets in various locations, collapsed buildings and masses of earth could be seen in videos published on online networks.

Right-wing extremist President Bolsonaro expressed “pain and solidarity with the victims of this sad disaster” on Twitter. His government will do everything possible “to alleviate the suffering”. The army, the Ministry of Defense and other government agencies have been called in to help with relief efforts.

Red alert still applies

The National Meteorological Institute said Pernambuco was on red alert for landslide and flood risk on Sunday. The Pernambuco Water and Climate Authority also warned on Saturday that the situation could get worse as the rain will continue for the next 24 hours.

Landslides and floods caused by torrential rains have killed hundreds in Brazil in recent months. In February, more than 230 people died in the city of Petropolis in the state of Rio de Janeiro alone. In early May, 14 more people died in the state from flooding and landslides.

According to experts, rainfall in Brazil is currently being exacerbated by the La Niña climate phenomenon, which is causing the Pacific Ocean to cool. But climate change is also increasing the risk of severe weather. Because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, global warming increases the risk of extreme rainfall.


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