8 dead, more than 30,000 evacuated as severe floods and landslides hit Brazil

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Extreme rainfall has caused severe flooding and deadly landslides in the northeastern and southern Brazil over the weekend, claiming the lives of at least 8 people and forcing more than 30 000 to evacuate.

Authorities said that swollen rivers, mudslides, and falling trees in the state of Pernambuco forced the evacuation of at least 30 000 residents and killed four people. Four people died and another 3 000 families were evacuated in the neighboring Alagoas. Both states declared states of emergency.

In Pernambuco, more than 20 municipalities reported damage caused by heavy rain on Sunday, May 28, 2017. In several areas, meteorological stations recorded 300 mm (11.8 inches) within just 24 hours.

According to De Olho No Tempo Meteorologia, large amounts of rain flooded 70% of Barra de Gabiraba. The Pampas River in Belem de Maria overflowed and flooded much of the city, leaving the population homeless or displaced. In Caruaru, a vehicle was dragged by a stream that overflowed, killing one person. In the same municipality, a man was dragged by the flood waters in the locality of Sitio Lagoa da Pedra. Two people died after a hill collapsed and destroyed the house where the couple slept.

After six years of being practically dry, the Jazigo dam in Serra Talhada re-accumulated water and reached maximum capacity before the day’s end.

According to rain gauge network of the National Center for Natural Disaster Monitoring and Alarms (Cemaden), most of the rain fell within 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday (May 27 – 28). Rio Formoso station registered staggering 307.87 mm (12.12 inches) of rain within just 24 hours (by 23:00 on May 28), 397.68 mm (15.65 inches) within 72 hours and 522.01 mm (20.55 inches) within 96 hours. Full report


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