Brazil’s southern region is experiencing deadly rainfall and mudslides; 37 deaths

In what authorities are describing as the worst disaster in its history, Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul is reeling from the devastating effects of heavy rains and mudslides. The death toll rose to 37, with 74 people reported missing, the state’s civil protection agency said, Al Jazeera reported. Rescue operations are underway as rescuers race against time to locate survivors trapped among the rubble of collapsed houses, bridges and roads. Governor Eduardo Leite has declared a state of emergency as the region grapples with the aftermath of the catastrophic weather events.

“We are facing the worst disaster in (our) history,” Governor Leite lamented, acknowledging the grim reality that the death toll is expected to rise further as rescue efforts continue, as reported by Al Jazeera. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pledged full support to the affected region and assured that “there will be no lack of human or material resources” to alleviate the suffering caused by the extreme weather conditions.

Federal assistance has already been mobilized, with 12 aircraft, 45 vehicles and 12 boats deployed in addition to 626 soldiers to assist with rescue and relief operations. The focus is on clearing roads, distributing essential supplies such as food, water and mattresses, and setting up shelters for displaced people. Forecasters have warned of further danger as the main Guaiba River is expected to reach alarming levels, worsening the existing crisis. Entire communities have been cut off and infrastructure has been severely damaged by the relentless downpour.

The dire situation has prompted authorities to urge residents to evacuate from high-risk areas near rivers and slopes prone to mudslides. Access to basic services such as drinking water has been disrupted, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without essential services. The catastrophic floods and mudslides are part of a pattern of extreme weather events plaguing South America’s largest country. Experts attribute the increased frequency of such disasters to the effects of climate change, which have been exacerbated by a recent cold front sweeping across the southern and southeastern regions after a period of intense heat, Al Jazeera reported. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)