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Severe floods continue to affect southern Brazil: Death toll rises to 45

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Severe rainstorms and strong winds have continued to batter southern Brazil since last week, causing more floods and damage across the States of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Around 140 states are on state of alert, and several have declared a state of emergency. Media reports a major gas line was ruptured this Monday, July 20.

After extensive damage of last week, heavy floods have continued to sweep southern Brazil. A low pressure system between the coasts of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, intensified on Tuesday, July 21 and formed a new extratropical cyclone on the south coast of Brazil. The storm system intensified existing strong wind gusts of Monday evening, July 20.

The National Institute of Meteorology reported wind speeds between 74 km/h (45.98 mph) and 96 km/h (59.65 mph) off the coast of Santa Catarina.

Extratropical cyclone on the south coast of Brazil. Video credit: Climatempo Meteorologia.

Around 114 mm (4.5 inches) of rainfall in a 24 hour period was measured in Santa Maria and 101 mm (4 inches) was reported in Encruzilhada do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul on Monday, July 20.

72-hr rainfall accumulation until July 22, 2015 at 06:00 UTC. Image credit: Google / NASA/JAXA GPM.

At least 51 400 people were affected so far, across 64 municipalities, as of July 21. 540 people were evacuated in the State of Paraná and more than 38 200 in Rio Grande do Sul. 13 500 residents were affected and two people were reported dead across the municipalities of Santa Catarina.

AP reports 45 people died so far due to flood related incidents, and the death toll is still expected to rise over the coming days. Parts of southern Brazil might still be vulnerable to isolated thunderstorm events over the next 48 hours.

Video credit: AP

Featured image: Heavy flooding in Brazil, July 21, 2015. Image credit: AP.

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