· · ·

Extremely heavy rains hit Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, causing destructive floods and landslides, Brazil

espirito santo flood march 23 2024 brazil f

Heavy rains in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state on March 22, 2024, resulted in at least nine fatalities, with Petropolis being the hardest hit. A staggering 270 mm (11 inches) of rain fell within 24 hours, significantly impacting the region and leading to numerous incidents, including landslides and house collapses. The storm then moved to the neighboring state of Espírito Santo, dropping more than 200 mm (7.8 inches) of rainfall within 24 hours.

The state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was hit by more than a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours on March 22, causing destructive floods and landslides.

The city of Petropolis, located approximately 69 km (43 miles) north of Rio, was the worst affected area. The disaster in Petropolis follows a catastrophic storm in February 2022, which claimed 241 lives in the same region.

Over the span of 24 hours, the storm unleashed 270 mm (10.6 inches) of rain, far surpassing the forecast of 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rainfall expected daily from Friday through Sunday, a figure significantly above the region’s March average of 141 mm (5.6 inches).

Official reports confirmed the survival of a girl after being buried under mud for 16 hours in Petropolis, shielded by her father who died in the incident. This case was among the numerous casualties caused by the severe weather. The storm led to three other deaths in Petropolis from a collapsed house, and additional fatalities were recorded throughout the state: a man died after his truck was submerged in a river in Santa Cruz da Serra; in Teresopolis, a house collapse resulted in another death; and in Arraial do Cabo, an individual was fatally struck by lightning.

Rescue operations were hindered by the conditions, with teams forced to pause their efforts on Friday night amidst the danger of further landslides. This critical situation led to Rio Governor Claudio Castro describing the state of the Petropolis as “critical” due to the intense rains and the overflowing of the Quitandinha River.

Rescue efforts in Petropolis involved nearly 100 rescued individuals, as reported by an emergency committee comprising the Rio government and civil defense officials. Firefighters faced significant challenges reaching affected residents, many of whom live in areas long identified as at risk. Dogs trained to assist in such operations were also deployed.

Local authorities had been warning of potential severe weather since Thursday, highlighting the risks of landslides and flooding.

After hitting Rio state, the storm moved toward the neighboring state of Espirito Santo where some areas received more than 200 mm (7.8 inches) of rainfall in less than 24 hours on March 23.

One of the worst affected areas in Espírito Santo is Mimoso do Sul.


07:46 UTC, March 24

The death toll rose to 12 early March 24, with 8 deaths reported in the state of Rio de Janeiro and 4 in Espirito Santo. Additionally, at least 7 people are missing in Espirito Santo. The number of fatalities in both states is expected to continue rising.

The governor of Espirito Santo described the situation in Mimoso do Sul as ‘chaotic.’


1 Heavy rains kill at least 7 in Rio de Janeiro state, 4-year-old rescued after 16 hours under mud – AP – March 23, 2024

2 Powerful storm leaves at least nine dead in Brazil – AFP – March 23, 2024


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *