Brazil – Thousands Displaced as Rivers Overflow in Rio Grande Do Sul

Several rivers have broken their banks in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, after days of heavy rain. Authorities report 2 people have died and over 7,000 people displaced. The flooding comes just days after areas of southern Brazil were hit by a deadly cyclone.

Floods in Rio Grande do Sul Brazil 09 July, 2020. Photo: Civil Defence RS

Parts of Rio Grande do Sul have seen heavy rain throughout July. Rainfall was particularly intense from 06 to 08 July. At least twelve locations recorded more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours to 08 July, including the state capital, Porto Alegre with 106.2mm and Santa Rosa with 150mm.

The state’s Civil Defence reported that, as of 11 July, 7,146 people were forced to leave their homes after flooding or landslides in 30 cities or municipalities. Four cities have declared an emergency situation: Arroio do Meio, São Jerônimo, Montenegro and Eldorado do Sul. Fatalities were reported in Caxias do Sul and Colinas.

By 09 July, wide areas of Lajeado, Cruzeiro do Sul and Bom Retiro do Sul were flooded by the overflowing Taquari river.

Evacuations were carried out in São Borja after the Uruguay river broke its banks, also on 09 July. As of 11 July the Uruguay river stood at 9.5 metres at the Passo São Borja station, well above alert level of 8 metres. The Uruguay is also above alert levels further downstream at Itaqui and Uruguaiana.

The Caí river broke its banks on 09 July, flooding homes in São Sebastião do Caí and displacing over 1,800 people.

The city of Igrejinha is also badly affected after flooding from the Paranhana river. Over 500 homes have been damaged, displacing around 2,000 people.

Meanwhile in the state capital, Porto Alegre region, rivers including the Guaíba have also overflowed, reportedly flooding thousands of homes.

Floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 09 July, 2020. Photo: Civil Defence RS

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