At least 91 dead in Brazil floods, dozens lost

Authorities in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco said Monday that 91 deaths from weekend floods have been confirmed and more than two dozen people are still missing.

Hundreds of state and federal emergency responders were searching for 26 people who are currently missing, according to the official statement.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro flew over the affected area of ​​Pernambuco’s capital Recife and neighboring Jaboatao dos Guararapes on Monday. He then told reporters that a helicopter landing was not possible due to the sodden ground.

He also pointed out that the country has recently experienced similar disasters in the mountains above Rio de Janeiro, in the southern state of Bahia and in the state of Minas Gerais.

“Unfortunately, these disasters are happening in a country the size of a continent,” he said. “We’re all obviously sad. We express our condolences to the relatives. Our greater goal is to comfort families and also provide material support for the population.”

The government is trying to provide funds to municipalities that have declared states of emergency, Regional Development Minister Daniel Ferreira said at the press conference. He also highlighted a new line of credit available to cities affected by such disasters.

Experts say climate change is contributing to more intense rainfall, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has ranked the Recife metropolitan area as one of the world’s most vulnerable cities. The low-lying metropolitan area is at the confluence of three rivers, has flood plains and a network of dozens of canals, and is home to about 4 million people.

In March, Recife became the first Latin American city to sign up to participate in a program to create insurance against climate disasters created by a network of local and regional governments and funded by the German development bank KfW.

The state’s Civil Protection Agency said in a statement that the flooding has displaced 5,000 people from their homes and has stepped up its warning about the still-high risk of landslides. It continued to rain, albeit with less intensity.

With postal wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/30/death-toll-from-brazil-floods-at-least-91-with-dozens-lost/ At least 91 dead in Brazil floods, dozens lost

JACLYN DIAZ

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