September 27, 2020

The dead are up to 45 and 101 municipalities in emergency due to rains in Brazil

The death toll from heavy rains that have punished since Thursday the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (southeast) reached 45 while that of municipalities declared in a state of emergency reached 101, official sources reported Monday.

According to the bulletin released on Monday morning by the Civil Defense of Minas Gerais, the second most populous state in Brazil, the forts have left 45 dead, 18 missing, 13,887 evicted and 3,354 accommodated in makeshift accommodation in schools and Public gyms

The new bulletin only included one more dead in front of the 44 counted on Sunday while reducing the number of disappeared from 19 to 18, after the discovery of a body in the damage left by a landslide.

The reduction of the intensity of the rains on Sunday and Monday allowed firefighters to concentrate their work in the search for people declared missing after the houses they lived in were buried by landslides.

The situation caused by the storms forced the regional government of Minas Gerais to declare the emergency situation in 101 municipalities affected by the rains, while three cities (Catas Altas, Ibirité and Orizania) declared themselves in a state of public calamity.

The recognition of the emergency or public calamity situation allows the regional and national governments to give priority to the attention of the most affected municipalities and to hire services or make urgent materials purchases without the respective bidding processes.

The storms have punished especially the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, and the municipalities that make up its metropolitan region, where most deaths have been recorded.

Thirteen deaths were counted in Belo Horizonte alone. Another six were registered in Betim and another five in Ibirité, both municipalities of its metropolitan area.

The rains that fell on Friday in Belo Horizonte were record, with 171.8 millimeters of water accumulated in 24 hours, the highest volume recorded in a day since the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) began the pluviometric measurements 110 years ago.

In addition to flooding and landslides, storms in Belo Horizonte and its metropolitan area caused river overflows, tree falls and power lines, the collapse of a building under construction and roadblocks.

In the neighboring state of Espiritu Santo, punished by the rains a week ago and in which several municipalities were also declared in a state of emergency, nine deaths were recorded in the last ten days.

The Civil Defense of Espiritu Santo said that some 9,000 people lost their residence or were evicted from their homes in the cities of Iconha, Rio Novo do Sul, Vargem Alta and Alfredo Chaves, the most affected by storms that intensify in the summer as result of days of extreme heat.


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