Today the death toll from an extratropical cyclone with heavy rains and winds battered the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul for more than 48 hours.
Of that number of deaths, 21 were reported in the Territorial Department and one in Santa Catarina.
Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite told the press that 15 bodies were found after water levels dropped in the municipality of Muçum, where residents had to be rescued on rooftops and house facades.
For security reasons, the electricity in the city has been shut off and there is no phone reception either. The district has four access roads, all of which are closed.
According to the state civil defense, five planes carried out rescue operations in the Taquari Valley. In the towns of Muçum, Roca Sales, Lajeado and Cruzeiro do Sul, people were in danger of asking for help.
As the water recedes, the company believes the death toll could rise over the next few hours.
Concerns remain about Thursday’s return of rains as the ground is still wet and there is a risk of new landslides, Civil Defense warns.
The state government confirmed that 62 municipalities were affected and more than 25,000 people were affected.
Given the gruesome scenario, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva decided that a federal government team should disembark in Rio Grande do Sul to analyze measures that could help the state recover from the cyclone.
He said his government is ready to help with whatever is needed and said the storm was a warning of the seriousness of the effects of climate change.
“Right now the focus is on saving people and preventing more casualties. “We are looking for the support of the national civil defense, especially the Bundeswehr, since many rescues are carried out by air,” explained Leite.