Intense hailstorm damaged more than 2 500 homes in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Intense hailstorm damaged more than 2 500 homes in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

An intense hailstorm struck portions of Rio Grande do Sul state between July 13 and 14, 2016. Thousands of homes suffered extensive damage, and state of emergency was declared by the local mayors in Vale do Sinos, São Leopoldo and Novo Hamburgo where 700 homes were affected, in total.

A layer of ice, 50 cm (1.6 feet) thick, accumulated on the streets of Não-Me-Toque on the night of July 13 (local time) while trees were reportedly downed on the road connecting Carazinho and the city. Numerous homes were devastated, the mayor Teodora Lutkmeyer reported.

The channels unable to support the abundant amounts of ice, caused the buildings and nearby schools to flood, although, luckily, no one was injured.

New Hamburg was among the worst hit municipalities, according to media reports. The State Civil Defense stated 400 houses and 2 000 residents were affected. 100 houses sustained damage in Igrejinha while damage was also reported in Poco das Antas, the Vale do Taquari and Venancio Aires. The risk of flooding was reported in Sao Sebastiao do Cai, and large ice accumulations were also observed in the Nonoai, Colonel Bicaco, and Garibaldi, Sierra.

The level of Fall River was reported at 7.5 m (24.6 feet) on the night of July 14 (local time), and increasing between 30 and 40 cm (0.98 and 1.3 feet) per hour, according to Pedro Griebler, the Civil Defense coordinator of Sao Sebastiao do Cai, who issued a flood alert on the morning of July 15. The river level rose dangerously, reaching some houses at 11.5 m (37.7 feet), as it continued to increase.

The hailstorm event was the second in the week. A few days earlier over 2 000 homes suffered damage across the seven municipalities, although no injuries were reported.

Featured image credit: Bruno Éllinson

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