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Heavy rains hit northeast Brazil, 56 people died

At least 56 people were killed when intense, heavy rains lashed the northeastern state of Pernambuco over the weekend, Brazilian authorities said.

CNN quoted Brazilian Regional Development Minister Daniel Ferreira on May 29 as saying that, in addition to the number of deaths, 56 people are still missing and at least 25 victims are injured in Pernambuco. Mr. Ferreira statistics, more than 3,900 people have lost their homes because of natural disasters.

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Heavy rains flooded streets in the state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil. Photo: AP

According to the Pernambuco civil defense force, several deaths were caused by heavy rains that led to landslides in the Recife region. Authorities have urged residents living in high-risk areas to seek safe shelter elsewhere.

In the city of Recife, schools have opened to accommodate displaced families.

President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the Brazilian military will assist those affected and he will personally go to Recife on May 30 to assess the situation.

“Our government is ready, from the first moment, all means, including the armed forces, to be mobilized to help those affected,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter on Thursday. 5.

The northeastern region of Brazil is experiencing particularly heavy rainfall, officials say. In the past 24 hours, some areas have recorded more rain than the total forecast for the whole month of May.

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Rescue workers remove the body of a victim killed by a landslide in Recife, Pernambuco state. Photo: Bangkok Post

Intense rains have hit Brazil continuously in recent months. In December 2021, torrential downpours caused two dams in nearby Bahia state to burst, killing dozens of people and submerging streets.

The milder downpours that are hitting Pernambuco and four other northeastern states are the product of a typical seasonal weather phenomenon, known as “easterly waves,” according to meteorologist Estael Sias. . These are areas of “atmospheric disturbance” moving from the African continent to the northeastern coast of Brazil.

“In other parts of the Atlantic, this instability constitutes hurricanes, but in northeastern Brazil it has the potential to bring a lot of rain and even thunderstorms,” Mr. Sias explained.

Experts say that climate change and La Nina (the phenomenon where the waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean are unusually cold) are the culprits for intense rain in Brazil.

Tuan Anh

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