State of emergency in Sanharo after nearly 6 months' worth of rain in a day, Brazil

State of emergency in Sanharo after nearly 6 months' worth of rain in a day, Brazil

The city of Sanharo in Pernambuco, Brazil, has declared a state of emergency after heavy rains caused major flooding in several areas of the city on Monday, November 2, 2020. According to the state's water and climate agency (APAC), 288.8 mm (11.4 inches) of rain was recorded in a 24 hour period, which was equivalent to almost half a year's average. Meteorologists said the amount of rain is unusual for the month of November, which is commonly a dry month.

Around 300 people were left homeless after floods triggered by heavy rains hit Sanharo. This prompted the city government to declare a state of emergency and accommodated the displaced victims at gymnasiums and schools.

Videos on social media showed floods at several points in the city, sweeping away vehicles.

APAC reported that several municipalities in Agreste and Sertao have been affected, and the latter received the largest volume of rain, as well as wind gusts of over 60 km/h (37 mph). In Petrolina, a portion of a hospital's roof collapsed due to strong winds and heavy rais.

In a 24-hour period, Sanharo received 288 mm (11.4 inches) of rain, which was nearly half a year's average of 644 mm (25.3 inches). Meteorological services also noted that this amount was one of the largest in Brazil.

"The influence of La Niña caused the phenomenon to move further north," meteorologist Roni Guedes explained. "November is a dry month. The average is very low of 11 mm (0.4 inches). It is very rare to rain so much at one point."

In an official statement, the City of Sanharo said officials were still trying to fix the damage caused by the severe weather.

Featured image credit: @blogdoedvaldo/Twitter

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