Brazil state reels as death toll rises to 143 amid heavy rains

RIO GRANDE DO SUL: As the state continues to receive heavy rains, the number of fatalities from the previous day’s heavy rains in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state increased to 143, according to a government body in charge of civil defense on Sunday.

In the state, where rivers are reporting rising levels, another 125 people are still missing. Metsul, the weather service, described the situation as “very worrying.”

With a population of approximately 10.9 million, the government announced on Saturday night that it would spend roughly 12.1 billion reais ($2.34 billion) on emergency measures to address the crisis that has forced more than 538,000 people from their homes in the state.

The federal government said in a statement on Saturday that the state had already received more than 60 billion reais in federal funds thanks to this additional funding.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, declared that the country will reconstruct what was destroyed.

In a Mother’s Day statement on social media, Lula wrote, “We know that not everything can be recovered, mothers have lost their children and children have lost their mothers.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement on Saturday that his administration is in talks with the Brazilian government about offering support.

“Those affected by this tragedy and the first responders trying to save and treat families and individuals are in our thoughts and prayers,” stated Biden.

Sunday saw more rain, and Monday is predicted to bring more. The state is once more on alert due to the possibility of water levels in the Guaiba lake, which is close to Porto Alegre, rising to record levels less than two weeks after the rains started.

Due to the state’s location at the meeting point of the polar and tropical atmospheres, it experiences periods of both severe rain and drought in its weather.

Scientists in the area think that climate change is to blame for the pattern’s increasing intensity.

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