Brazil – Deadly Cyclone Hits Southern States

At least nine people died after a cyclone swept through parts of southern Brazil on 30 June. Winds of over 120 km/h were reported in the state of Santa Catarina. The states of Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná were also badly affected.

The wild weather has also brought the threat of flooding. Storm surge has prompted warnings for coastal flooding in Santa Catarina. In Rio Grande do Sul, river levels are above flood stage in some areas of after the storm brought rain of over 140mm in 24 hours.

Cyclone damage in Santa Catarina state, Brazil, 30 June 2020. Photo: Defesa Civil Santa Catarina

Almost 50 cities or municipalities in Santa Catarina state were affected by the cyclone, where 9 fatalities were reported. State Civil Defence reported wind speeds of between 60 and 90 km/h in many parts of the state, with winds reaching 120km/h in Morro da Igreja.

Emergency services in Santa Catarina responded to hundreds of calls for assistance during the storm. Over 1 million people were left without electricity after winds downed power lines.

Fatalities were reported in Tijucas (3), Chapecó; Santo Amaro da Imperatriz; Governor Celso Ramos; Islet; Itaiópolis and Rio dos Cedros. One person was reported missing in Brusque. Although full details are yet to be confirmed, it appears most of the deaths were a result of wind damage.

According to the Civil Defence in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, 1,119 people and 921 homes were affected by rain and strong winds across the country. Damage was reported in Iraí, Cacique Doble, Barracão, Vacaria and Capão Bonito do Sul. Over 500 people were evacuated in Vacaria and 400 in Capão Bonito do Sul.

One fatality was also reported in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where heavy rain in Nova Prata is thought to have triggered a landslide that buried a construction worker.

In Paraná, the cyclone affected 3,127 people in 30 cities, damaging over 600 houses and forcing at least 81 people to temporarily leave their homes. Thousands were left without electricity.

Storm Surge, Rain and Floods

Warnings remain in place for storm surge and coastal flooding in Santa Catarina.

So far the heaviest of the rainfall occurred in Rio Grande do Sul. On 30 June, Cruz Alta recorded 143mm of rain, Soledade 112 mm and Canela 109.2 mm.

Rio Grande do Sul Civil Defence said the heavy rain brought by the storm has increased river levels. The Ijuí and Gravataí rivers are close to flood levels. The Sinos River is already above the flood stage near Campo Bom and is expected to rise further.

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