South : In , flood toll reaches 100 deaths

South : In , flood toll reaches 100 deaths
South America: In Brazil, flood toll reaches 100 deaths

In , the death toll from floods reaches the milestone of 100 deaths

Published today at 10:50 p.m.

The death toll from unprecedented floods in southern Brazil reached the 100 mark on , while relief operations in the regional capital Porto Alegre had to be interrupted due to more rain.

In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a rich agricultural region hit throughout the last week by torrential rains, the emergency is still for help as scenes of desolation follow one another: flooded homes, impassable roads and submerged cars by gigantic mud.

The time has also come to take stock of the human toll, still provisional given the chaos on site: 100 dead, 128 missing, 372 injured, according to Civil Defense. Porto Alegre, regional capital of some 1.4 million inhabitants, and more than 400 localities were hit by these exceptionally violent bad , driving more than 160,000 people from their homes.

The rain is coming back

The Guaiba , which experienced a historic flood of up to 5.30 meters, fell to 5.14 meters on Wednesday, but the situation remains very difficult. Volunteers went out in the morning on small boats or jet skis to navigate the flooded streets and evacuate residents still trapped by the waters, but also those who are reluctant to leave their homes for fear of burglaries.

But the sky darkened, the wind blew and the rain began to fall again, cutting short the rescues. Near the flooded football stadium of the local team Grêmio, where a disembarkation zone for evacuees has been improvised since the weekend, the volunteers had to store their boats, AFP journalists noted.

On the social network X, the town hall requested that “boats engaged in rescue operations temporarily suspend their activities”. She also mentioned “winds exceeding 80 km/h in the coming hours”.

The authorities also appealed to the victims not to try to return home, as homes were weakened by the rising waters. In addition, “contaminated water can transmit diseases,” Sabrina Ribas, spokesperson for Civil Defense, warned to the press.

Dams in danger

About ten days the start of the rains, the smell is nauseating in Porto Alegre because of the volumes of stagnant water, which sometimes resemble open dumps. Rain is also expected in the metropolitan region from Friday to Sunday, accompanied by a drop in temperatures.

And in the south of the state, flooding is expected to reach “serious proportions” in the coming days due to the “colossal” volume of water falling into the Guaiba and other rivers, warned the specialist site MetSul Meteorologia.

The state government has activated the emergency level for five dams, two of which are at “risk of imminent failure”. After the closure of the flooded Porto Alegre airport, the Canoas military base located on the outskirts will welcome commercial flights for the transport of aid and passengers wanting to reach Rio Grande do Sul, the army announced air.

100,000 homes damaged

At the same time, initial assessments of material damage are being established. Nearly 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and the economic damage reached 4.6 billion reais (around 822 million euros), according to the Confederation of Municipalities.

Brazil is not the only country in the region to bear the brunt of extreme weather events. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN agency, said on Wednesday that the El Niño phenomenon and man-made climate change will cause a record number of environmental disasters in Latin in 2023.

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