Brazil – Evacuations After Floods Hit Espírito Santo

Rising rivers and landslide threats have forced dozens of people to evacuate their homes in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, over the last few days. At least 2 flood-related fatalities were also reported.

River Doce at Linhares, Espirito Santo, Brazil, February 2022. Photo: Prefeitura de Linhares

Heavy rain began to fall on 15 February 2022. In a 24 hour period to 16 February, Linhares recorded 129.20 mm of rain, Rio Bananal 115.20 mm, Aracruz 103.38 mm and São Mateus 100.20 mm. In the following 24 hour period Ibiraçu recorded 106.20 mm and Aracruz a further 84 mm.

Levels of the Doce river were already high following long-term rainfall in catchments areas, in particular in the state of Minas Gerais during January. As of 13 February the Doce river at Linhares in Espírito Santo was already at 4.86 metres, well above flood stage of 3.45 metres.

Levels of the Doce River at Linhares, Brazil, February 2022. Image: CPRM

According to the state’s Civil Defence, a total of 77 people had been displaced by river or flash floods, or the threat of landslides in areas including Linhares (39 people), Cariacica, Colatina, Nova Venécia and São Mateus.

Civil Defence also reported one person died after a vehicle was swept away by floods in Nova Venécia. Another person died after floods caused the wall of a building to collapse in Alegre.

Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro

Meanwhile search and rescue operations are continuing in the state of Rio de Janeiro where at least 117 people have now lost their lives after catastrophic floods and landslides following record rainfall in the city of Petropolis.