The death toll from heavy rains that devastated southern Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state has risen to 27, the country’s civil defence says, as an extratropical cyclone flooded homes and caused rivers to overflow their banks.
Governor Eduardo Leite said on Tuesday that about 60 cities were battered by the storm.
The initial death toll of 21 people killed was already the state’s highest due to a climate event, Leite said. He added that 15 of the deaths occurred in one house in Mucum, a city of about 50,000 residents.
According to the state government, at least 1,650 people have been made homeless since Monday night.
Luana da Luz was among hundreds of Brazilians who packed up their belongings to escape the rising waters.
“Since dawn, we saw that [the water] was going to flood [our house], and we were putting things on top of the table, on top of the wood stove, but it didn’t help,” da Luz, a resident of the town of Passo Fundo, told the Reuters news agency.
The city hall at Mucum has recommended that residents seek out supplies to meet their needs for the next few days.
In June, Rio Grande do Sul was hit by another extratropical cyclone, which killed 16 people and caused destruction in 40 cities, many of those around the state capital, Porto Alegre.