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Photos: Major Flooding in Brazil

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
11/27/2008, 5:56:28 AM

Yesterday, Photo Gallery user Igor Camacho uploaded these photos of flooding in Brazil.

This morning, fellow blogger Alexandre Aguiar from MetSul emailed me to explain the dire situation:

"Southern Brazil's state of Santa Catarina is now a major disaster area after flooding. I cannot stress how painful it is to watch the pictures of destroyed towns and honest law abiding people looting supermarkets and stores desperate for food and water. The death toll is likely to be much higher as authorities believe dozens are missing and cities remain isolated. Associated Press has a complete story on the dramatic situation in Santa Catarina."

More photos, newspaper clippings, large hail pictures, and historical flooding info can be obtained from the Metsul Blogs. He recommended these YouTube videos which show the disaster: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


Alexandre explained how the situation occurred:

According to our meteorologists at MetSul meteorologists, the outflow of humidity from a strong high pressure system in the Atlantic generated heavy orographic rain in the eastern part of the state, where the elevations of the Serra do Mar can reach up to 1,800 meters very close to the shoreline. The mountainous region served as a blocking obstacle to the ocean moisture and some areas received up to 600 millimeters of rain in just 72 hours. The November total precipitation for some towns in the eastern part of Santa Catarina is near 1 thousand millimeters. Some authorities and even weather forecasters rushed to blame climate change for the ongoing tragedy, but the region has a historical record of major flooding since the 19th century. The peak historical crest levels for the Itajai-Acu River in Blumenau, another city heavily affected, were observed in 1850, 1882, 1911 and in 1983/1984 (Super El Nino of the 80's)."


The AP story says:

"Hungry flood survivors looted supermarkets and emergency crews tried to get aid to nearly 80,000 people driven from their homes Wednesday, as rain-spawned mudslides and overflowing rivers killed at least 97 people and isolated cities in southern Brazil. The weekend downpours dumped as much water on the area as it usually receives in months, cutting residents off from electricity, drinking water and food."

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