Heavy rainfall triggers deadly flooding and landslides in northeast Brazil

Heavy rainfall triggers deadly flooding and landslides in northeast Brazil

Over 20 000 people were affected by torrential rains in the Brazilian states of Alagoas and Pernambuco starting from July 7, 2023, leading to loss of life, massive displacement, and a building collapse in Recife.

The flooding brought on by the relentless rains triggered a fatal building collapse on July 7 on the outskirts of Pernambuco’s city of Recife. The catastrophic incident, occurring amidst the deluge, led to a painstaking 35-hour search-and-rescue operation, culminating in 14 confirmed fatalities and 3 survivors. Notably, the collapsed building had been deemed unsafe back in 2010, yet was reoccupied in 2012. Local sources suggest that the heavy rains could have been a contributing factor to the disaster.

Across the state, around 4 500 residents were affected in 25 municipalities, with almost 230 people left homeless in the aftermath of the floods.

Alagoas was also grappling with the consequences of the heavy rainfall during the same period. According to the Federal Civil Defence, the storms affected over 20 000 residents across 37 cities and municipalities. By July 10, nearly 3 578 individuals were forced to leave their homes. The cities most severely impacted include Matriz de Camaragibe, Marechal Deodoro, São Miguel dos Milagres, União dos Palmares, Rio Largo, Atalaia, Cajueiro, Murici, and Jacuípe. Sadly, a life was lost in the floods in Joaquim Gomes.

In response to the escalating situation, Paulo Dantas, the state governor of Alagoas, announced that at least 12 municipalities’ water supply had been disrupted due to rising river levels. He assured that financial aid would be directed towards the beleaguered municipalities, enabling the purchase of emergency kits complete with drinking water, mattresses, and food baskets.

References:

1 Brazil – Severe Floods in Alagoas and Pernambuco, 14 Killed in Building Collapse – FloodList – July 12, 2023

Featured image credit: Government of Alagoas

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