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Extreme rainfall hits southern Brazil, leaving at least 11 people dead and 20 missing

Extreme rainfall hits southern Brazil, leaving at least 11 people dead and 20 missing

An intense extratropical cyclone that struck southern Brazil, particularly Rio Grande do Sul, on June 15 and 16, 2023, brought extremely heavy rains and strong winds, resulting in at least 11 fatalities and 20 missing persons.

Southern Brazil, especially the state of Rio Grande do Sul, has been hit hard by a powerful extratropical cyclone that brought torrential rains on June 15 and 16, 2023. The intense downpour has resulted in at least 11 fatalities and 20 missing individuals while causing widespread damage and leaving over one million people without power.

“Our priority at the moment is to find those missing and save people who might still be isolated due to the floods,” Governor Eduardo Leite said, adding that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has extended federal assistance to manage the crisis.

Numerous roads in the Rio Grande do Sul were closed, flights to the state’s main cities have been canceled throughout the day, and a large-scale power outage affected the state. Reports from mayors of the affected cities highlight the severity of the storm, with twice the amount of rain falling in 24 hours than typically expected for the entire month of June. The Mayor of Maquine noted on social media that rainfall in his city surpassed 294 mm (11.6 inches) in a single day.

The storm has brought record rainfall of 300 mm to 400 mm (11.8 inches to 15.7 inches) causing flooding in municipalities of Greater Porto Alegre. This has led to the largest flood in Vale dos Sinos in a decade, with the Sinos River reaching a peak level of 7.60 m (24.9 feet), the highest since August 2013 when it reached 7.86 m (25.8 feet), Met Sul reported.

Extratropical cyclone drops two months' worth of rain in one day over southern Brazil bg
Extratropical cyclone off the coast of southern Brazil. Credit: NOAA/GOES-East, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers. Acquired at 13:30 UTC on June 16, 2023

On Sunday afternoon (LT), the center of the cyclone was located around 3 000 km (1 864 miles) southeast of Porto Alegre and was still affecting the country.

The return of rains is anticipated in the middle of the week in Rio Grande do Sul, although they are not expected to cause a repeat of the floods. The cold, which intensified early this Monday, June 19, is expected to diminish throughout the week with milder afternoons forecasted for the state.

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References:

1 Severe storm kills 3 in southern Brazil, 12 still missing – PTI – June 17, 2023

2 Efeitos do ciclone persistem durante a semana no Rio Grande do Sul – Met Sul – June 18, 2023

Featured image credit sbt news (stillshot)

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