At least 5 municipalities in Ceará State in northeastern Brazil have declared a state of emergency after days of heavy rain triggered flooding and landslides. Dozens of people have been displaced and at least 3 fatalities reported.
Three people from the same family died after heavy rain triggered a landslide which destroyed their home in Aratuba on 16 March 2023. A further 15 homes were damaged or deemed unsafe by authorities, forcing around 50 people to evacuate.
“The municipal government deeply regrets what happened and will provide full support to the families of the victims and survivors,” the Municipal Prefecture of Aratuba said in a statement. A three-day period of mourning was declared. State Governor Elmano de Freitas visited the area on 17 March.
Elsewhere in the state, over 30 families were pre-emptively evacuated from homes in neighbourhoods of Itapipoca City on 17 March due to flood and landslide threats.
Local governments declared a state of emergency in Guaramiranga, Itapipoca, Missão Velha, Aratuba and Uruburetama.
In the neighbouring state of Maranhão, the government has declared a state of emergency for 20 municipalities in response to recent heavy rainfall. Several communities were left isolated after flooding along the Pericumã River near Pinheiro on 16 March. Flooding was reported in Imperatriz near the Tocantins River.
Municipalities under a state of emergency as of 18 March: Afonso Cunha, Alto Alegre do Pindaré, Barreirinhas, Buriti, Coroatá, Esperantinópolis, Governador Nunes Freire, Graça Aranha, Grajaú, Lago da Pedra, Pedreiras, Pinheiro, Poção de Pedras, Santa Inês, Santa Luzia, Santo Antônio dos Lopes, São João do Caru, Trizidela do Vale, Tuntum and Zé Doca.