Flooding in southern Brazil leaves at least 31 dead and 2,300 homeless
Flooding from a cyclone in southern Brazil washed away houses, trapped motorists in vehicles and swamped streets in several cities, killing at least 31 people and leaving 2,300 homeless, authorities said Wednesday, News.Az reports citing AP.
More than 60 cities have been battered since Monday night by the storm, which has been Rio Grande do Sul state’s deadliest, Gov. Eduardo Leite said.
“The fly-over we just did, shows the dimension of an absolutely out of the ordinary event,” Leite said in a video posted on the state’s social media accounts. “It wasn’t just riverside communities that were hit, but entire cities that were completely compromised.”
Videos shot by rescue teams Tuesday and published by the online news site G1 had shown some families on the top of their houses pleading for help as rivers overflowed their banks. Some areas were entirely cut off after wide avenues turned into fast-moving rivers.
Leite said Wednesday that the death toll had reached 31, and state emergency authorities said at least 2,300 people were made homeless. Another 3,000 had to temporarily evacuate their houses.
In Mucum, a city of about 50,000 residents, rescuers found 15 bodies in a single house. Once the storm had passed, residents discovered a trail of destruction along the river with most buildings swept away down to the ground level. Images showed a sheep hanging from an electrical line — an indication of how high the water had risen.
“The water arrived very fast, it was rising two meters (6½ feet) an hour,” Mucum resident Marcos Antonio Gomes said, standing on top of a pile of debris. “We have nothing left. Not even clothes.”