Days of heavy rain and flooding in Santa Catarina, Brazil, have prompted dozens of municipalities to declare a state of emergency. At least 2 people have died in flooding and heavy rainfall that have affected the state since 03 October 2023. More heavy rain is forecast.
As of 10 October, the state’s Civil Defence said a significant portion of the region is grappling with the impacts the severe weather conditions. Out of the 295 municipalities in Santa Catarina, 136 have been affected by the rains and floods, 89 of which have declared a state of emergency.
In response to the crisis, a concerted effort involving the Army, Navy, Federal Highway Police, and state authorities is actively engaged in providing aid and support to the affected regions. As of 10 October, the state government said it has distributed relief items including drinking water, food, mattresses and hygiene kits, to communities in Aurora, Campo Alegre, Campos Novos, Canoinhas, Erval Velho, Forquilhinha, Irineópolis, Laurentino, Mirim Doce, Monte Carlo, Presidente Getúlio, Rio do Oeste, Rio do Sul, Rio Negrinho, São Bento do Sul and Tubarão.
Authorities reported 12,289 people were displaced in the state, mostly in Rio do Sul, Tubarão, Blumenau and Lontras. Tragically, two people have lost their lives, with one fatality reported in Rio do Oeste and another in Palmeira, according to information from the State Civil Defence.
Currently the impact of the flooding is concentrated in the Vale do Itajaí. The city of Taió has been severely impacted and the state governor Jorginho Mello visited the area on 09 October.
Following a short respite in the rain, Santa Catarina governor Jorginho Mello ordered the gradual and controlled opening of the flood gates of the Ituporanga and Taió dams in the Alto Vale do Itajaí, which began in the early hours of 11 October.
However, further heavy rain is forecast for southern parts of Brazil over the coming days which is likely to worsen the situation further. The National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) warned of the impending arrival of a cold front which is likely to bring high volumes of rainfall from 11 October until the weekend and beyond in Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná States
Heavy rain and flooding caused multiple fatalities and widespread material damage in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in September this year. Flooding and heavy rain continued to affect the state throughout September and early October. As of 09 October, 51 people had died as a result.
Severe weather including strong winds, hail and heavy rain caused damage in parts of Paraná State, to the north of Santa Catarina, from around 04 October 2023. State Civil Defence reported 40 municipalities affected, 5 people injured and 740 displaced.
The worst of the flooding was reported in Rio Negro, União da Vitória, Rebouças and Peabiru. The municipalities of São Jorge do Oeste, Paulo Frontin, Paula Freitas and Mangueirinha suffered storm damage. Paula Freitas, Mangueirinha, Rio Negro and São Jorge do Oeste municipalities declared an emergency situation as of 08 October 2023.