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Heavy rains left at least 29 people dead and others missing in Brazil

Heavy rains left at least 29 people dead and others missing in Brazil

At least 29 people have died and 60 others are missing after heavy rains hit southern Brazil, prompting the state government to send rescue helicopters to search for stranded residents, authorities said Thursday.

The heavy rains that fell on Rio Grande do Sul state in recent days were much higher than usual for this time of year, according to experts.

In the last four days of April, the state received about 70 percent of the precipitation it normally records for the entire month, according to National Institute of Meteorology data analyzed by The New York Times.

The rain overflowed rivers in the state’s Central Valley, submerging cities, collapsing a bridge, blocking roads, and causing landslides. The city of Canudos do Vale was isolated, without electricity or communications. In the city of Candelaria, residents waited for rescue helicopters on the roofs of their flooded homes.

Nearly 10,000 people had to leave their homes, according to the Rio Grande do Sul Civil Defense Agency in a statement. The crisis prompted the governor of Rio Grande do Sul state, Eduardo Leite, to declare a state of emergency late on Wednesday.

“In Rio Grande do Sul, we are living through the worst moment and the worst disaster in our history,” Light said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, it’s going to get worse.”

Meteorologists warned of the possibility of more rain in the coming days, which could further complicate rescue efforts.

The country’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was on his way to visit the region on Thursday, a promise Federal agencies “will join the efforts of state and municipal governments to overcome this difficult moment.”

Last year, 37 people died in the same region of Brazil due to heavy rains and strong winds caused by the hurricane.

National Institute of Meteorology Announce The region is suffering from the effects of a natural climate phenomenon known as El Niño, which can bring heavy rains in the southern regions of Brazil, while causing drought in the Amazon rainforest.