Brazil: At least 37 killed in disastrous flooding and landslides

At least 37 people have died as record rainfall in Brazil causes destructive landslides on the anniversary of the Drumadinho dam disaster.

Torrential rain fall and downpours have drenched the region in south-eastern Brazil, forcing 2,600 people to be evacuated from their homes.

Civil defence officials report 25 people still missing in Minas Gerais – the same state where the catastrophic Brumadinho dam disaster, on 25 January 2019, killed a reported 270 people.

Photos show people, including children swimming through some of the submerged streets, where more rain has said to be expected. 

Rainfall in the region has been the heaviest since records began in 1910, according to the National Institute of Meteorology. Thousands have been forced from their homes since the heavy rainfall began.

At least 37 people have been killed following record rainfall in the region and around 2,600 people have been evacuated from their homes Picture: PA

Severe flooding has led to landslides, overflowing rivers, highways being cut off and building collapses.

A state of emergency was declared in 47 cities by state governor Gustavo Zema, a move that usually signals the implementation of federal disaster aid.

Three days of official mourning for those killed in the floods and landslides has also been announced. 

The declaration of the deaths comes the same day as mourners elsewhere in Minas Gerais observe the first anniversary of a mining dam collapse that killed at least 270 people.

Rescue workers looking for victims in Vila Bernadete, Belo Horizonte. Picture: Getty

Most of the victims have been killed in the landslides or buried in their collapsed homes, with two children being reported among the dead.

More rain is expected in the state, as well as other parts of Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. 

The state capital, Belo Horizonte, recorded 171 millimetres (6.7 inches) from Thursday to Friday, the highest total rainfall in 110 years. 

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Written by

Samantha Day