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.
Sanharó - Chuva no agreste pic.twitter.com/e4JZII11XD— Moab Augusto (@Moab_Augusto) November 3, 2020
Galera de Sanharó e região, o momento é de união, tivemos boa parte da nossa cidade inundada, muitas pessoas perderam tudo, precisamos de doações, toda ajuda é bem vinda. Oremos por nossa Sanharo. pic.twitter.com/wYffeh4N6s— a maga (@AyanneAlm) November 3, 2020
Large flooding issues in Sanharó, Brazil— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) November 3, 2020
Almost half a year's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
288.8 mm accumulated by 9:10 am this morning. The annual historical average is 644 mm according to the Pernambuco Water and Climate Agency (Apac).pic.twitter.com/HwWgzZI3FG
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