Flash floods hit southeastern Brazil

Violent storms bring days of heavy rain causing deadly floods and mudslides in the country’s largest city, Sao Paulo.

Last updated: 17 Jan 2014 10:39
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Violent storms rattle Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and leaving neighborhoods without power [AFP]

Torrential rainfall has caused severe flooding in and around the Sao Paulo region of southeastern Brazil. Violent thunderstorms swept right across Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and knocking out power in some neighbourhoods.

At least 14 people are known to have died so far. That number is likely to rise further.

The heaviest rain began at the start of the week with wet weather intensifying from the far southeast of the country. Since then, the big downpours have swept northwards; bringing widespread flooding and mudslides to many areas.

Curitiba, which is the capital Paraná with a population of almost 1,800,000, has seen 103mm of rain over the last three days. That rain then moved across Sao Paulo with the city recording 51mm of rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

Many roads have been blocked off by fallen trees, causing chaos across Sao Paulo state and then of course there is still the threat of mudslides. Rio’s domestic airport did close for around an hour on Thursday, as did the ferry service to neighbouring Niteroi. The worst of the storm passed after 90 minutes, but thousands of residents are still without power.

Authorities have said that much rebuilding will be required to repair the power and water supply networks as well as the damaged roads and bridges. Further rain is likely across the area over the next few days with the heaviest downpours now creeping up to the north of Rio.


Al Jazeera
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