'Extratropical bomb cyclone' lashes southern Brazil, leaving at least 10 people dead and 1 million affected

'Extratropical bomb cyclone' lashes southern Brazil, leaving at least 10 people dead and 1 million affected

A rapidly developing storm -- extratropical bomb cyclone -- lashed southern Brazil on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, killing at least 10 people. Winds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph) blew away tile roofs, sheet roofing, and power lines, resulting in disruptions that affected almost 1 million people. More than 1 000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes, the Civil Defense reported on Wednesday, July 1. 

Nine of the fatalities were confirmed in Santa Catarina, where one person was also reported missing. The tenth casualty was in the southern Rio Grande do Sul, bordering Argentina and Uruguay.

Among the victims were a 78-year-old woman from Chapeco, who was hit by a tree; a man from Santa Amaro da Imperatriz, who was killed by high voltage wires, and a person in Tijucas, who died after being hit by a collapsed building.

In Santa Catarina alone, winds disrupted electricity to at least 48 towns, affecting some 686 000 people. 

Emergency services in the state responded to hundreds of calls for assistance on the onset of the storm.

State capital Florianopolis and the metropolitan region were hit the worst, where six of the victims died due to landslides.

A resident of Ilhota in greater Florianopolis told local media, "We have never seen anything like it. We always believed we were far from the kind of phenomena we were used to seeing on television of the Caribbean."

The Civil Defense said 1 119 people and 921 homes were affected in the Rio Grande do Sul area, where the heaviest rains occurred. Cruz Alta recorded 143 mm (5.6 inches), Soldedade 112 mm (4.4 inches), and Canela 109.2 mm (4.3 inches) on June 30.

The Ijui and Gravatai rivers increased closed to flood levels, while the Sinos River already hit above the flood stage near Campo Bom.

Damage was reported in Irai, acique Doble, Barracão, Vacaria, and Capão Bonito do Sul.

Winds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) whipped as far as the southeast state of Sao Paulo-- where damage to a marina caused eight boats to sink-- and in Rio de Janeiro.

In Parana, 3 127 people in 30 cities were affected. More than 600 houses were damaged, and at least 81 people were forced to evacuate. Thousands were left without power supply.

The state governments of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina had issued flood warnings and evacuated more than 1 000.

Meteorologists said the extratropical bomb cyclone came from the Atlantic Ocean and battered southern Brazil with winds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph).

According to Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology (INMET), more significant rains will hit the North and South regions of Brazil this week. 

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Image credit: Santa Catarina Civil Defense

Featured image credit: Santa Catarina Civil Defense

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