At least 56 people are missing and more than 3,900 people have lost their homes due to the rain, Brazilian Regional Development Minister Daniel Ferreira said on Sunday. At least 25 people were injured.
The Civil Defense in Pernambuco has urged residents living in high-risk areas around Recife to seek shelter elsewhere after rains triggered landslides there. Schools have been opened in Recife to house displaced families.
Northeast Brazil is experiencing exceptionally high amounts of rain, officials said. Some areas recorded more rain in a 24-hour period over the weekend than the total volume projected for May.
Some parts of the state had rain on Monday as the rain moved towards the coast, but another 30-60mm of rain is expected in Pernambuco in the next couple of days, while isolated areas could see more than 100mm. The area could see more than half a month of rain in just four days, between Saturday on the weekend and the end of Tuesday.
Flashes – which can lead to power outages and falling debris – can reach 100 kilometers per hour.
Heavy rains over the weekend caused the fourth major flooding in five months in Brazil, according to a Reuters report, highlighting a lack of urban planning in low-income neighborhoods in much of the country. Slums – slums or shantytowns – are often erected on hillsides exposed to giving way, usually outside of major cities.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the army would help those affected and that he would travel to Recife on Monday to assess the situation.
“Our government has made available from the first moment all its means to help those affected, including the armed forces,” he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
This means that some parts of Brazil will experience prolonged droughts as well as more frequent and extreme rainfall events, which collectively make them more prone to flooding.
The cause of landslides is more complex, but they often occur during heavy rains in areas that have been excessively deforested and built on.
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