Authorities in Brazil report that at least 80 people have now died following severe flooding and landslides in the north east of the country.
As reported on 26 May, days of heavy rain triggered flooding and landslides in the states of Pernambuco, Alagoas and Paraíba. Since then and the situation has deteriorated, in particular in Pernambuco.
As of 29 May 2022, National Civil Defence reported 79 fatalities and at least 3,957 people displaced across the state of Pernambuco. A total of 14 cities or municipalities have declared a state of emergency: Recife, Olinda, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, São José da Coroa Grande, Moreno, Nazaré da Mata, Macaparana, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, São Vicente Férrer, Paudalho, Paulista, Goiana, Timbaúba and Camaragibe.
Many more people are thought to be still missing and search and rescue operations are continuing, including in 12 points in the Recife Metropolitan Region. Pernambuco Governor Paulo Câmara announced the allocation of funds for the search and rescue work and also for urgent and infrastructure works in the municipalities affected by the rains. In addition, with the publication of the state decree of emergency, the affected municipalities will also be able to access resources from the National Civil Defence System.
“Our determination to the Social Defense Secretary and the Fire Brigade is that the teams remain on the scene until the last victim is rescued,” said Governor Camara.
According to Pernambuco Water and Climate Agency (APAC), as of 27 May 2022, some areas of the state including Ipojuca, São Benedito do Sul, Belém de Maria and Maraial had already seen twice the monthly average rainfall totals. Ipojuca, situated to the south of Recife, recorded 570.5 mm from 01 to 27 May 2022.
Meanwhile in the neighbouring state of Alagoas, Civil Defence reported 2,102 people had evacuated their homes and moved to relief camps, while a further 8,017 were staying with relatives or friends. One person has died in São Miguel dos Campos.