December 12, 2017

Landslides and floods in Brazil leave 12 dead

The state is home to the largest wine producing area in Brazil.

Landslides and floods have forced the southern Brazil state of Rio Grande do Sul to declare a state of emergency in seven cities over the weekend.

A dozen peopleare confirmed dead with hundreds homeless. Authorities say more than 40,000 people are directly affected by the torrential rain.

Among the dead were seven family members whose homes beside each other in the town of Igrejinha were buried by a landslide.

Three children were also conformed dead in the town of Novo Hamburgo after their homewas engulfed by a mudslide.

There have been power cuts in Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul.

Rescue workers have been busy evacuating areas thought to be at risk from landslips to prevent further casualties.

Even though dry weather is forecast for the next few days, rain is expected to return by the end of the week.

With many hillsides already weakened there is the real risk that more rain will bring them down.

Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil. Its rainy season is usually from June to September. To have this much rain so early is not a good sign for the coming winter.