Torrential rains in Brazil leave four dead and more than 4,000 displaced

Rescue teams are looking for about thirty people missing from a landslide in Paraná, in southern Brazil. / EFE

The rescue teams from the southern region of Paraná conclude their work after rescuing six people alive and finding the whereabouts of another 15 who had been reported missing

Heavy rains have been punishing several areas of Brazil for days. The storm has so far caused four deaths: two in the southern state of Santa Carina, which suffered mainly from flooding, and another two in the neighboring region of Paraná due to a landslide on a highway. In addition, there are more than 4,000 displaced people in Bahia, in the northeast of the country, where at least nine municipalities are in an emergency situation, according to authorities.

“The Fire Department finished the search for victims, two people died and six were rescued alive,” the Paraná Security Secretariat reported this Friday in a note. “Six other individuals managed to escape from their vehicles” without requiring help, the agency added. Initially, the rescue teams had claimed that there may be at least 30 missing, based on the estimated number of vehicles that may be buried under the mud that invaded highway BR 367 in this mountainous region.

The Paraná authorities detailed that in total “six heavy and three light vehicles were removed from the site” and that “15 people” who had been reported missing “were found in other contexts unrelated to the landslide.” The emergency services also managed to open one of the directions of the highway, which connects Paraná and Santa Catarina.

State of emergency

The governor of the latter region, Carlos Moisés, declared a state of emergency and stressed the need to provide humanitarian assistance. “The moment is delicate and requires everyone’s attention and care, especially on roads and places where there is still a risk of landslides and floods,” he said, after advising citizens to avoid traveling during bad weather.

During the last southern summer, landslides triggered by heavy rains caused hundreds of victims in Brazil. The worst tragedy occurred last February, when more than 200 people died in Petrópolis, a tourist city located in a mountainous region near Rio de Janeiro.

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