Brazil – Deadly Floods and Landslides in Minas Gerais

Update, 26 January 2020:

Civil Defence in Minas Gerais said late on 25 January that the number of fatalities has increased to 30, with 17 people reported missing, 7 injured, 620 displaced and 911 homeless.

Civil Defense warned of further flood and landslide risk in 9 cities in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte: Sabará, Rio Acima, Brumadinho, Contagem, Nova Lima, Betim, Ribeirão das Neves and Ibirité, as well as the city of Belo Horizonte.

Original report, 25 January, 2020:

At least 14 people have died after record rain caused flash flooding and landslides in Minas Gerais State in southeast Brazil.

The disaster comes just days after the deadly floods in Espirito Santo on 17 to 18 January, where 6 people died.

Minas Gerais Civil Defence reported 14 people have died in the Greater Belo Horizonte area, including in Belo Horizonte city and the municipalities of Ibirité and Betim. Many of the fatalities occurred as a result of landslides. Civil Defence added that 7 people have been injured and around 3,500 evacuated or left homeless.

Roads were turned to rivers as flood water raged through streets of the Greater Belo Horizonte area. Flooding and landslides damaged or destroyed buildings, including a city hospital. Belo Horizonte Civil Defence said that teams attended over 470 incidents of landslides and flooding across the region on 24 January, 2020.

A total of 171.8mm of rain fell in Belo Horizonte on 24 January. In a statement, Romeu Zema, Governor of Minas Gerais, said the rainfall was the highest recorded in Belo Horizonte.

Civil Defence said that at least 8 locations across the metropolitan area recorded more than 100mm of rain in a 15 hour period on 24 January. Several areas of the state recorded over 300mm of rain in a period from early 23 to late 24 January.  Some areas have now seen double the amount of rainfall normally expected in January. Warnings for further heavy rain have been issued.


Authorities warned that the Paraopeba River is at risk of overflowing in Brumadinho. It is exactly a year ago that 259 people died in the in the municipality of Brumadinho after a mining dam collapsed on Friday, 25 January, 2019, causing a massive mudflow.

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