Brazil – 11 Dead, Thousands Displaced After Floods and Landslides in Rio Grande Do Sul

Torrential rain brought an extra-tropical cyclone caused flooding and landslides in the Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil on 16 June 2023.

Flood damage in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, June 2023. Photo: Government of Rio Grande do Sul

According to reports from the state government, 11 people have died and 18 were reported missing. Fatalities occurred in ​​Maquiné, São Leopoldo, Novo Hamburgo, Caraá, Bom Princípio, São Sebastião do Caí, Esteio and Gravataí. Damage to homes has left over 4,000 people displaced. Many of those disaplced are being housed in emergency accommodation in local schools or other public buildings.

The Military Fire Department carried out about 2,400 rescues in two days. As of 18 June, teams were continuing to search for several people reported missing, mostly in areas of Caraá and Três Forquilhas.

At least 7 major roads have been blocked or closed to traffic. A bridge that connects Três Cachoeiras to Morrinhos do Sul was partially destroyed.

Visiting affected areas, Eduardo Leite, Governor of Rio Grande do Sul, said, ” “Our main objective, in this first moment, is to protect and save human lives. Rescue people who are stranded, locate missing people and provide full support to families. We have all our teams in the field, and the Secretariat for Logistics and Transport is already analysing compromised bridges and roads so that we can act in an emergency and free passage in these locations.”

In total 49 municipalities in the state have bee affected by the severe weather, including heavy rain and strong winds. As much as 300 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Maquiné. The level of the Caí River in the municipality of Montenegro jumped by more than 2 metres in a short space of time on 16 June.

Flooding affected several municipalities in northern parts of the state after heavy rainfall in early March 2023. Homes and infrastructure were damaged. One person died after a vehicle was swept away by the flooding of the Três Forquilhas river in Terra de Areia.

Thousands of people were displaced and 2 people died after prolonged rainfall caused multiple rivers to overflow in July 2020.

Flood damage in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, June 2023. Photo: Government of Rio Grande do Sul