Serious Floods Wreak Havoc in Brazil

Serious Floods Wreak Havoc in Brazil

( – Mother Nature is causing some serious damage this year. Floods in China and earthquakes in Japan and Taiwan, among other natural disasters, have created havoc. Now, Brazil is facing a monumental weather event, too, with massive flooding that has already claimed many lives and devastated several communities.

Torrential rains have caused extensive flooding in Brazil, creating one of the worst floods in the country’s modern history. The capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, is one of the 497 municipalities under water. The Guaiba River rose to more than 16 feet, blasting a record set in 1941. That incident caused Porto Alegre to shut down for weeks.

Rising waters have forced more than 150,000 people from their homes as the floods have inundated them, and many are sleeping on roadsides without any assistance. Some residents say they’ve gone days without food, and media reports have shown others pushing shopping carts with meager belongings in them, the only things they could save before evacuating. Some are even walking three miles a day in search of clean water, something the supermarkets were rapidly running out of in the aftermath of the floods.

Authorities were rescuing people from rooftops and deploying military vehicles to help evacuate those stranded, while residents were helping remove others from their homes with inflatable mattresses and small boats. In one situation, a horse became stuck on a roof. Firefighters were able to rescue the animal.

Shelters have filled with more than 60,000 seeking refuge in various buildings set up to house those who lost their homes. The scene is eerily reminiscent of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s catastrophic damage to the city of New Orleans. One resident, identified only as Suzan, spoke with BBC News and said she, along with most others she knows, has “never experienced anything like it.”

The latest tallies show at least 107 people dead and more than 370 injured.

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