Several days of heavy rainfall in south east Brazil has resulted in flooding and landslides. The states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo are the worst affected. Rainfall in Minas Gerais is thought to be 60% higher than the average for December. By 17 December as many as 24 municipalities declared a state of emergency. The heavy rain caused a massive landslide in the municipality of Sardoá, Minas Gerais. Six people died in the disaster, including 4 children.
In the state of Espírito Santo, floods and landslides have either damaged or destroyed between 250 and 300 houses across several municipalities leaving hundreds homeless. The state capital, Vitoria, saw 52mm of rain in 24 hours between 17 and 18 December.
According to Globo Brazil’s Civil Defence say flooding in some parts of the region is the worst for 34 years and the Bananal, Timirim, Panorama and Bananalzinho rivers have all overflowed.
The rain first began in the region around 1 week ago and is expected to continue in Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, central and southern Bahia, Goiás and some areas of Rio de Janeiro state.
The severe weather is thought to be caused by the South Atlantic convergence zone, which often causes heavy rains with flooding and potential mudslides at this time of year.