Storm kills at least 19 in Brazil

Storm kills at least 19 in Brazil

A strong storm accompanied by “record” rainfall killed at least 19 people as a result of flooding and landslides during the carnival weekend in several locations in Sao Paulo state, authorities said on Sunday.

“So far, 19 deaths have been officially registered” in this coastal region north of the capital, the state government said in a statement, adding that 228 people were displaced and 338 others were evacuated. An operation is underway to help the victims.

The number of missing has not yet been specified by authorities, who continue to work hard to help survivors.

The governor of the state of Sao Paulo, Tarcisio de Freitas, who flew over the area affected by the storm, declared a state of emergency in five municipalities in this region north of Sao Paulo, according to the press release.

Storm kills at least 19 in Brazil

The municipality of Sao Sebastiao, which is around 200 km from Sao Paulo and is heavily frequented by the residents of the region during the carnival, was hardest hit. The town hall announced that 600 mm of rain had been registered in 24 hours.

The amount of rainfall was “extraordinary and broke records,” said Felipe Augusto, mayor of the city where the festival program was canceled.

Images of the area shared by local media and social media show the extent of the damage. Neighborhoods were flooded, debris from homes was swept away by landslides, and roads collapsed.

“We are working on about fifty buildings that have collapsed from the force of the water. People are still underground,” the mayor said.

The government of Sao Paulo announced that more than a hundred firefighters with vehicles and seven helicopters were still deployed on this difficult terrain.

The Brazilian army and two military aircraft were also mobilized. Specialized civil protection groups have also been deployed on the ground to reinforce the rescue system.

Integration and Regional Development Minister Waldez Goes will visit the region on Monday.

“There will be no shortage of personnel or equipment,” he promised Brazilian TV channel GloboNews.

Brazil, which is suffering from the consequences of climate change, is repeatedly hit by natural disasters, such as in Petropolis in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where more than 230 people died in 2022 after heavy rains.