Dozens killed in Brazil after worst rain event in more than 100 years triggers flooding, landslides
More than 2,500 people evacuated from their homes in Minas Gerais state as two days of heavy rainfall cause flooding.
The highest rainfall total in 110 years poured down over Belo Horizonte, a state capital in Brazil, which forced thousands to flee from their homes. Record-breaking flooding rain and landslides have killed at least 53 people in this area.
Civil Defense officials told the Associated Press that 2,600 people were evacuated from their houses, 19 people are listed as missing following a landslide on Saturday in the state of Minas Gerais, where they experienced 48 hours of torrential rains.
Locals work to clean up mud and debris around houses destroyed by a landslide after heavy rains in Vila Ideal neighborhood, Ibirite municipality, Minas Gerias state, Brazil, Saturday, Jan.25, 2020. (AP Photo/Alexandre Mota-Futura Press)
For federal disaster aid, State Gov. Gustavo Zema declared a state of emergency in 47 cities.
“A cold front swept across eastern South America through the end of last week, spreading periods of rain and thunderstorms from northern Argentina into eastern Brazil,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Maura Kelly said.
Ahead of this front, northerly winds helped to draw in tropical moisture from near the equator, which Kelly said fueled flooding downpours across eastern Brazil, particularly in the state of Minas Gerais.
Firefighters search for victims near houses destroyed by a landslide after heavy rains in Barreiro, Minas Gerias state, Brazil, Saturday, Jan.25, 2020. (Flavio Tavares/Futura Press via AP)
“As the front moved into Minas Gerais on Thursday and Friday, daily rainfall totals climbed over 100 mm (4 inches) each day. On Thursday, Florestal received 174mm (6.85 inches) of rain,” Kelly said.
“Farther north in Diamantina, 128 mm (5.04 inches) of rain fell on Friday with total rainfall of 350 mm (13.78 inches) from Monday to Friday. To the southeast, Caratinga reported 121mm (4.76 inches) on Saturday with 312 mm (12.28 inches) of rain throughout the week,” Kelly said.
“The capital city of Belo Horizonte reported 154 mm (6.06 inches) from Thursday into Friday with 193 mm (7.60 inches) from Monday to Friday. Normal rainfall for the month of January in this region is around 150-175 mm (6-7 inches),” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, the front that bought the flooding rainfall to part of Brazil is expected to linger over the region into at least the middle of the week and will continue to produce periods of rain and thunderstorms across Minas Gerais as rescue and recovery efforts continue.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.Report a Typo
For first time in 18 days, no tropical cyclones spinning over the Atlantic, but ...
After a flurry of storms across the basin, an eerie calm has returned. But forecasters have their eyes on one particular spot where the next storm could pop up.
Wildfire blotter: Smoke from Calif. wildfires may have killed more than 1,000 people
Smoke was so intense over California that it turned skies orange and made day look like night. But the overall impact of the smoke is far worse than just those scary images, one study says.
'Thank God for our neighbors': Family relieved that bystanders came to their rescue amid Beta's flooding
While emergency personnel were backlogged with numerous high-water rescues during Tropical Storm Beta's torrential downpours, neighbors and complete strangers quickly jumped into action to help.
The best weather-resistant outdoor furniture
Weather-resistant outdoor furniture is designed to last through all seasons, from the UV rays in the summer to being water-proof and rust-resistant in the colder seasons. Here are our favorites on sale now.
10 essentials to keep in your bag this fall and winter
As cold weather sets in, you want to be prepared. Here are ten essential things to keep in your bag during fall and winter.
AccuWeather School: The case of the shifting sunrises and sunsets
It may surprise you to learn that the sun only rises due east and sets due west on only two days throughout the entire year. AccuWeather School solves this case of the shifting sunrises and sunsets!