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Montevideo, May 19th 2024 - 07:34 UTC



Rio Grande do Sul: Situation keeps getting worse

Wednesday, May 8th 2024 - 10:37 UTC
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Leite described the situation as a “catastrophe” Leite described the situation as a “catastrophe”

According to the latest bulletin, 95 people have been killed so far in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul by the highly unusual heavy rains hitting the area since April 19, Agencia Brasil reported. Governor Eduardo Leite confirmed that 131 people were missing and at least 401 towns (out of 497 statewide) had been affected.

While 48,799 people have been welcomed in shelters, 159,036 victims have been displaced and housed elsewhere. According to the IBGE's 2022 census, Rio Grande do Sul has 10.8 million inhabitants,

“The size of the crisis in Rio Grande do Sul is what makes this situation particularly difficult for us to deal with. Practically the whole state is affected in some way,” lamented Leite, who described the situation as a “catastrophe”.

During a press conference on Tuesday, he also said that the numbers were rising every day but the data may be “inaccurate”.

Temperatures are forecast to drop from Wednesday and Thursday with heavy rain expected in the southern part of the state. “There is an initial projection that, between Friday and Sunday, we will again have very heavy rain in the northern half of the state, affecting the rivers that have already risen and caused all this damage,” Leite also said while urging people not to return to their homes yet, as there is still a risk of further flooding.

In this scenario, Brazil's Football Confederation (CBF) postponed all matches of men's and women's teams until May 27 “due to the state of public calamity in Rio Grande do Sul, decreed by the federal and state governments, as a result of the extreme weather events that have occurred,” the entity announced through a statement.

“The CBF, as the organizer of national competitions, and attentive to its institutional functions, as well as the humanitarian effort that the moment calls for, reaffirms its unrestricted support for the authorities so that all measures and actions are adopted for the benefit of the population of Rio Grande do Sul, whose relief is the top priority,” the communiqué went on.

The measure comes a day after the Gaucho Football Federation asked the CBF to suspend all matches involving clubs from the state of Rio Grande do Sul for 20 days.

Games involving Rio Grande do Sul teams had already been suspended on previous weekends but, since then, floods have engulfed several cities in the Porto Alegre metropolitan area, culminating in the closure of Salgado Filho Airport for at least a month due to the flooding of the area.

South America's Football Confederation (Conmebol) also agreed to postpone away matches featuring Porto Alegre's Grêmio and Internacional.

Meanwhile, rural producers in the state said houses, sheds, and corrals had been destroyed, in addition to plantations flooded and crops lost as chickens, pigs, and cows were swept away by the waters, resulting in a “sad and heartbreaking” reality for small farmers, settlers, and quilombolas.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)

Categories: Environment, Brazil.

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