Brazil – Severe Floods in Alagoas and Pernambuco, 14 Killed in Building Collapse

At least one person died and thousands were displaced after heavy rain caused flooding and landslides in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco in northeast Brazil. Also in Pernambuco, a building collapsed in the capital Recife where at least 14 people have died or are missing. Local observers said the collapse may partly be a result of recent heavy rains.

Floods in Alagoas, Brazil, July 2023. Photo: Government of Alagoas

In Alagoas, Federal Civil Defence said over 20,000 people across 37 cities and municipalities have been affected by heavy rains that began around 07 July 2023. As of 10 July a total of 3,578 people were displaced. Among tha hardest hit areas are Matriz de Camaragibe (3,548 people affected), Marechal Deodoro (3,004), São Miguel dos Milagres, (2,860), União dos Palmares (2,302), Rio Largo (2,108), Atalaia (1,624), Cajueiro (1,336), Murici (1,200) and Jacuípe (1040). One person died in flood waters in Joaquim Gomes.

State governor Paulo Dantas said water supply was compromised due to rising river levels in at least 12 municipalities. He added that the government of Alagoas will direct financial resources to the affected municipalities, and funds will be used to purchase emergency kits consisting of drinking water, mattresses and food baskets.

In the neighbouring state of Pernambuco, Federal Civil Defence reported around 4,500 people across 25 municipalities have been affected. Almost 230 people have been displaced from their homes.

No fatalities were reported as a direct consequence of flooding or landslides in the state. However, a residential buildings collapsed in the Janga neighbourhood on the outskirts of Recife late on 07 July. After 35 hours of searching under the rubble, the Government of Pernambuco said that 14 people had died and 3 people survived. According to local reports, the building had been condemned as unsafe in 2010 but reoccupied again in 2012. Local observers suggested the collapse was partially caused by recent heavy rain.

Floods in Alagoas, Brazil, July 2023. Photo: Government of Alagoas