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Over 30 Dead, About 60 Missing As Dam Collapses, Causes Massive Flooding In Brazil

Over 15,000 people have evacuated their homes in Brazil due to a collapsed dam which resulted in fatal flooding.

A tragic disaster has struck southern Brazil as a hydroelectric dam collapsed following days of relentless rain, resulting in widespread flooding and claiming the lives of over 30 people.

 In Rio Grande do Sul state, an additional 60 individuals are reported missing, adding to the devastation wrought by the calamity.

Since Saturday, approximately 15,000 residents have been forced to evacuate their homes in the face of rising floodwaters. The catastrophe has left at least 500,000 people grappling with the dual challenges of power outages and contaminated water supplies across the state.

The collapse of the dam unleashed a two-meter-high wave, exacerbating the panic and chaos in areas already inundated by flooding.

Situated between the municipality of Cotiporã and the city of Bento Gonçalves, the dam’s breach has compounded the misery caused by the extreme weather conditions.

The meteorological turmoil, characterised by soaring temperatures, heightened humidity levels, and fierce winds, has created an unprecedented confluence of environmental factors.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has personally toured the affected region, offering assurances of assistance from the federal government.

State Governor Eduardo Leite has urgently appealed for aid, emphasising the pressing need to rescue hundreds of stranded individuals across numerous municipalities.

Helicopters have been pressed into service for search and rescue operations, with some areas rendered inaccessible to conventional rescue efforts due to the severity of flooding.

In Candelária municipality, residents found themselves taking refuge on the rooftops of their submerged homes as torrents of water inundated their dwellings.

Meteorologists have warned of further rainfall as a cold front sweeps through the region, prolonging the ordeal for beleaguered communities.

This calamity is reminiscent of the tragic cyclone that struck Rio Grande do Sul last year, claiming the lives of more than 30 individuals.

The National Institute of Meteorology has attributed the intensified and frequent rainfall to the climatic phenomenon known as El Niño, underscoring the urgency of addressing climate change and its devastating consequences.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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