Brazil Floods Kill at Least 107

( – More than a hundred people have been reported dead and hundreds more missing after massive floods struck the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, which located in the country’s southern region.

Close to 300 people have also been reported as injured, as strong floodwaters inundated the area, affecting its more than 850,000 residents who live in the state’s 345 municipalities. Floodwaters spared no infrastructure, leaving everything from homes, bridges, and roads wrecked and destroyed. Authorities say that around 155,000 people have lost their homes in the aftermath of the floods.

The rains began during the week of April 29, with the incessant downpour causing rivers to overflow into the regions’ towns and villages. Some areas are still flooded, with floodwater levels reaching as high as rooftops of single-story buildings. One city for example, Porto Alegre, which has a population of 1.3 million, a large part of its downtown area is underwater.

Rescuers and emergency responders have been overwhelmed by the crisis, and along with continued adverse conditions, not all the dead have been retrieved as authorities rush to rescue as many people as possible and locate missing individuals. Roughly 1,000 firefighters have been dispatched to render emergency aid, according to Rio Grande do Sul Military Firefighters Subcommander Col. José Carlos Sallet.

Flood survivors and displaced residents have are now contending with a shortage of basic necessities, with many stores closed and many of their stock destroyed by floodwaters. In many cases, remaining supplies, including water, are being rationed while people await aid to come their way. Electricity has also been cut off in many areas, with more than 1.4 million people affected by blackouts.

The government says that the exact extent of damage the floods have wrecked is still unknown at this point. A proper assessment can only be done after floodwaters subside, according to authorities.

The Rio Grande do Sul region has been suffering extremely adverse weather conditions in recent months, with a sub-tropical cyclone in September last year leaving 54 people dead.

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