Floods in southern Brazil | 70,000 people driven from their homes and around sixty dead

(Porto Alegre) The floods which have devastated the south of Brazil for several days have driven nearly 70,000 people from their homes and left around sixty dead and dozens missing, a “dramatic” and “unprecedented” situation which particularly affects the great metropolis Porto Alegre.

After earlier mentioning 57 deaths, civil defense reported on Saturday evening a death toll of 55, with an additional seven deaths being the subject of an “investigation”. There are also 74 missing and 107 injured. Furthermore, at least two other people were killed in the explosion of a gas station in Porte Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, noted an AFP journalist, present during the explosion .

The disaster is ever more evident: some 69,200 people have had to leave their homes and more than a million homes are without water in this state.

The situation is “dramatic” and “absolutely unprecedented”, declared Saturday Eduardo Leite, governor of the state where nearly 320 localities are affected. Fearing for “supply” and “the production chain”, he called for a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild the region.

A large part of the municipalities find themselves isolated, roads having been cut by floods or landslides, and communications disrupted.


The authorities gave orders to evacuate certain neighborhoods in the metropolis of Porto Alegre.

The weather service said the severe weather had started to ease, but it was expected to rain for another 24 to 36 hours.

The authorities gave orders to evacuate certain neighborhoods of Porto Alegre, a metropolis with some 1.4 million inhabitants, located at the confluence of several rivers.

With the rising waters of the Guaiba, the emblematic river of southern Brazil, flooding has hit the city hard, where the airport has been closed since Friday. The river level reached 5.09 meters on Saturday, surpassing the historic record of 4.76 dating from 1941.

” In a few minutes ”

“In a few minutes, in less than an hour, everything was flooded. I lost everything, the television, the wardrobe, the bed, the fridge, everything,” José Augusto Moraes de Lima, a 61-year-old trader who lives in the Navegantes neighborhood, in the northern part, told AFP. from the city.


A flooded gas station, located on an avenue, exploded, killing two people.

It was in this neighborhood that a flooded gas station, located on an avenue, exploded, killing two people and generating a thick cloud of smoke visible from afar. Firefighters were evacuating victims of the disaster, suffering from burns, AFP noted.

In many places, long queues formed hoping to board a bus, while motorists tried to make their way through flooded roadways.

Referring to another river that runs through the city, Porto Alegre Mayor Sebastiao Melo wrote on X that the dam holding back the Gravatai River “has started overflowing again.” “The communities must leave the area,” he said.

He also asked the population to ration water, after four of the city’s six treatment plants had to be closed.

Sunday “will be a key day for relief operations,” warned Communications Minister Paulo Pimenta, who came to the site with other ministers.

Porto Alegre is the capital of one of the most prosperous states in the country, with the fifth GDP of the largest economy in Latin America and a predominantly agricultural production, with important crops of soy, rice, wheat and corn.

Baby rescued by helicopter

Housing areas drowned as far as the eye can see, roads destroyed or bridges swept away by the current: the human and material damage is considerable and especially concentrated in the central region of this state bordering Argentina and Uruguay.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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