Brazil is experiencing its worst flooding in more than 80 years; at least 39 dead, 74 missing – World News

Heavy rain has wreaked havoc in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, claiming 39 lives and leaving 74 people missing, the state civil protection agency said. Cities have been flooded, forcing thousands to flee their homes, marking the fourth environmental disaster in a year.

The deluge broke records, surpassing the devastating floods of 1941, the Associated Press reported, citing Brazil’s Geological Survey. Water levels in some areas have reached unprecedented levels dating back almost 150 years, causing widespread destruction.

Damage and rescue of infrastructure

The collapse of a dam at a hydroelectric power plant and the flooding of entire towns along the Taquari River valley, such as Lajeado and Estrela, underline the scale of the crisis. Essential services such as electricity, communications and water supply have been severely disrupted. More than 24,000 people have been displaced, with many stranded on rooftops awaiting rescue.