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Deadly cyclone claims lives and displaces thousands in Brazil

Rio Grande do Sul, 19th June, 2023 (GNP): A devastating extra-tropical cyclone struck Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, resulting in the loss of at least 13 lives and leaving thousands displaced. The region experienced torrential rain and powerful winds, causing widespread damage across numerous towns, including the capital Porto Alegre.

Tragically, the victims include a four-month-old baby, as reported by local media. Distressing footage captured the strength of the cyclone’s winds, which even swept a car into a cemetery. Many residents found themselves trapped in waist-high water inside their homes.

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The city of Sao Leopoldo, situated just a short distance from Porto Alegre, was particularly affected, with an unprecedented 246mm (9.7 inches) of rain falling within a span of 18 hours.

This extreme level of rainfall surpassed any previous records in the city’s history, causing severe flooding and disruption for its 240,000 inhabitants.

The aftermath of the cyclone left approximately 5,000 people with damaged houses, and at its peak, around 84,000 residents were left without power.

Efforts to mitigate the impact of the disaster are underway. Rescue operations have been conducted in Novo Hamburgo as soldiers mobilize to assist affected communities.

However, the situation remains challenging as more rainfall and cold temperatures are expected in the coming week, exacerbating the difficulties faced by those already affected.

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These weather-related disasters in Brazil are part of a concerning trend, with experts attributing their severity to the effects of climate change.

As the country grapples with the aftermath of this cyclone and previous incidents, it becomes increasingly urgent to address the underlying issues and take collective action to mitigate the impact of climate change.