Death toll from floods in Brazil's south climbs to 136

By Reuters   May 11, 2024 | 07:02 pm PT
Death toll from floods in Brazil's south climbs to 136
Rescue staff search for stranded people in Porto Alegre, Brazil on May 7, 2024. Photo by AFP
The death toll from heavy rains in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state has climbed to 136, the local civil defense government body said on Saturday, up from 126 in the previous day, while another 125 people remain unaccounted for.

Storms and floods battering the South American country's southernmost state have also left around 537,000 displaced, according to the local civil defense body, a significant increase over the 340,000 reported a day earlier.

About 446 urban centers have been impacted, affecting the lives of more than 2.1 million people in a state whose population is about 10.9 million.

Weather forecaster Metsul has reported that after a short respite, rains coming down over the state on Friday have begun to fill rivers in what it called a "worrying" situation.

"Accumulated precipitation is occurring in the worst possible region given the current flood scenario, along the basins and in the sources of the main rivers that are still full," said the meteorological service in a public statement.

The state is at a geographical meeting point between tropical and polar atmospheres, which has created a weather pattern with periods of intense rains or drought.

Local scientists believe the pattern has been intensifying due to climate change.

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