Severe storms since Thursday over the state of Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil have killed at least forty-four people after major floods and landslides, authorities announced on Sunday 26 January. This exceptionally bad weather also left nineteen people missing, against twenty-five previously injured and nearly 17,000 displaced in the 58 municipalities of the state of Minas Gerais.
The victims died in landslides or in the collapse of their homes, caused by record floods and precipitation. The National Meteorological Institute said it had recorded the heaviest precipitation ever measured in twenty-four hours since the start of the measurements a hundred and ten years ago, although the rains started to decrease on Sunday. Between 9 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday, 171.8 millimeters of rain was recorded in Belo Horizonte, a record. The rains continued on Saturday.Article reserved for our subscribers
“Difficult to rescue everyone”
From India, where he was on an official trip, President Jair Bolsonaro assured that his government was doing “everything possible,” although “the affected area is large” and that it is “difficult to rescue the whole world. ” The Minister of Regional Development, Gustavo Canuto, and the Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, Romeu Zema, flew over the disaster area and announced the granting of immediate aid of 90 million reales (about 20 million euros ).
Authorities have extended their alert until Friday because of the risks of new landslides in the Belo Horizonte sector. They also advised those displaced by the mudslides to refrain from returning home for the time being.
Local television footage showed landslides, buried houses, uprooted trees and utility poles, flooding rivers and neighborhoods flooded by the storm, which also affected the neighboring states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.
Heavy showers over the state of Rio led to the flooding of three rivers which flooded seven cities in the north and northwest. No deaths or injuries have been reported at this stage. Several roads were cut off by the rising waters and dozens of bridges collapsed. According to the G1 news site, a dyke broke down in Monjolos, a rural area in Minas Gerais, causing a stream to overflow which affected several houses without causing any casualties.
On Friday, two children and two adults lost their lives in the collapse of two homes in Ibirite. Two other people died in the collapse of homes in the Vila Bernardete neighborhood of Belo Horizonte. Four other people died in the city, and one in Contagem.
These bad weather coincided with the first anniversary of the rupture of a mining dam located in Brumadinho, in the State of Minas Gerais , which caused a torrent of mud and waste of 13 million cubic meters, which had taken everything on its passage. The tragedy on January 25, 2019 left 211 dead and 95 missing.
A week ago, six people died as a result of floods and landslides caused by torrential rain in the state of Espirito Santo, in southeast Brazil.