Death toll from floods in southern Brazil rises to 117

MADRID, 18 (EUROPE PRESS)

The death toll from heavy flooding in the mountainous municipality of Petrópolis, in southern Brazil, has risen to 117 after the passage of a storm that has left, for now, more than 100 missing.

The Department of Civil Defense of the State of Rio de Janeiro has reported that, of the total number of fatalities, at least eight are minors. In addition, 24 people have been rescued alive during the last days.

The region is on orange alert for rain this Thursday until 11:00 a.m. (local time). Meteorologists have predicted that rainfall could reach 100 millimeters in just 24 hours, which could make search efforts difficult, according to information from ‘Estadao’.

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The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Cláudio Castro, has lamented that it is the “worst rain since 1932”. “It was 240 millimeters in two hours. It was an extremely extraordinary rain,” he said.

As indicated in a press conference, the storm brings together the components of a “historical tragedy” and a “deficit” at different levels. The Petrópolis area has suffered severe flooding throughout history, although authorities now describe the situation as resembling a “war”.

The local authorities have decreed a state of public calamity after the water has devastated large areas of the municipality, with infrastructures and houses buried by the mud.

It is estimated that some 54 houses have been totally destroyed by the rains, which has led nearly 400 people to move in search of shelters and shelters, according to information from the G1 chain. Some 400 firefighters work in the search for the missing.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was on a diplomatic trip to Russia, showed his support for the victims on Twitter, promising that despite being far away, he and his government remain “committed to helping others.” “God comfort the families of the victims,” ​​he wrote.

The newspaper ‘Estadao’ published that, according to a note received from the Secretary of State of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro, in some commercial areas of Petrópolis there have been attempted break-ins and possible robberies in establishments affected by the rains.

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