Brazil – Santa Catarina Floods and Rain Leave 3 Dead, 7,500 Displaced

At least 3 people have died and thousands have been displaced after days of heavy rain in southern Brazil caused flooding and landslides in parts of Santa Catarina state.

Flood rescue in Santa Catarina, Brazil, May 2022. Photo: Maurício Vieira Government of Santa Catarina

Parts of the state saw over 300 mm of rain in a 72 hour period to 05 May 2022. According to the state’s Civil Defence, São Martinho recorded 375.4 mm during this period and Anitápolis 338 mm.

Santa Catarina Civil Defence said two people had died as a result of the severe weather in the municipality of São Joaquim and one in the municipality of Urubici.

Civil Defence added that 115 municipalities have reported incidents related to the heavy rainfall and severe weather over the last few days, including floods, landslides, falling trees and collapsed buildings. A total of 44,000 people have been affected. Damage to homes has left a total of 7,618 people displaced. On 04 May classes in over 150 schools were suspended.

Several municipalities have declared a state of emergency, including Tubarão, Orleans, Forquilhinhas, Urubici, Maracajá, Araranguá, São Joaquim, Lages and Laurentino. The municipality of Taió is expected to declare a state of emergency in the coming days. Also badly affected is the municipality of Rio do Sul where authorities have distributed relief supplies including mattresses and food.

According to figures from Serviço Geológico do Brasil (CPRM), rivers reached above the danger mark in several locations in the state, including the Canoas at Vila Canoas and the Uruguay at Itapiranga.

Flood warnings are also in place for areas of neighbouring Rio Grande do Sul state, where Civil defence report river levels are high on the Uruguay and Taquari rivers.

Levels of the Canoas river at Vila Canoas, Santa Catarina, Brazil, May 2022. Image: CPRM
Levels of the Uruguay river at Itapirangas, Santa Catarina, Brazil, May 2022. Image: CPRM