The threat of widespread flooding and landslides has hampered rescue efforts, officials said
At least 11 people were killed and 20 others were missing in southern Brazil after an extratropical cyclone battered the Rio Grande do Sul region on Friday, local authorities said.
Government officials in Brazil’s southernmost state said heavy rains from the storm had increased the risk of landslides, a challenge rescuers were trying to overcome by using emergency services helicopters to find people in need in flooded neighborhoods.
The town of Kara, home to about 8,000 people, has been particularly hard hit, authorities reported, with emergency workers planning a massive rescue operation for people who may have been trapped or injured by the extreme weather. Widespread power outages were also reported.
“We are deeply concerned about Carla’s situation,” she said. The governor of the state, Eduardo Wright, said after inspecting the affected areas. “It is critical that we are able to quickly map the key affected areas and identify those in need of support in an organized manner.”
Wright also said that in the two days since the hurricane hit, emergency crews have conducted about 2,400 successful rescue operations.he added “Our main goal right now is to protect and save human life. We are rescuing people trapped, looking for missing people and providing all support to families.”
Elsewhere, Maquine, a municipality in the eastern Rio Grande do Sul state, recorded 12 inches of rain as of Friday evening, threatening the municipality’s agriculture, officials said. Brazil’s federal government said it was committed to providing humanitarian aid to the affected areas.
Flooding is a common problem in Brazil, causing extensive damage on several occasions over the past few decades. In 2021, at least 20 people died in floods in the Northeast, while in 2020, storms killed 47 people and displaced another 18,000 in the Southeast.
The frequency of intense hurricanes and tropical cyclones has increased due to a warming climate caused by man-made climate change, the United Nations said.
You can share this story on social media: