Death toll from rains and floods in Brazil rises to 13

The death toll from heavy rains in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul rose to 13, local authorities said Thursday, May 2, 2024, as the state government declared a state of public calamity to deal with the dramatic situation.

The storms, which caused the greatest damage in the state in recent years, also left 21 people missing and 5,257 displaced in 134 towns, according to Rio Grande do Sul's civil defense.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to fly over affected areas and meet with Governor Eduardo Leite later Thursday in Santa Maria, which has seen three deaths, the most so far in a single location.


Brown waters flood an area of ​​Capela de Santana, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil.  An orange house stands in the middle of the flooded neighborhood.

A flooded area of ​​Capela de Santana is seen in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul May 2, 2024. Authorities in Rio Grande do Sul have declared a state of emergency, as rescuers continue to search for some 21 people missing among the ruins of collapsed houses, bridges and roads. (Carlos Fabal/AFP via Getty Images)

Leite declared a state of public calamity, citing the risk the state faces from climate events.

The Rio Grande do Sul floods are just the latest recent natural disaster in Brazil. The state was already hit by a tropical cyclone last September, which left more than 30 people dead.


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