Brazilian authorities have raised the number of people missing from 25 to 46 after a devastating cyclone passed through the south of the country on Monday, which killed at least 41 people, according to a new report released on Friday.
The search to try to find the missing continues, assures in a press release the civil security of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost of the 27 states of Brazil.
Heavy rains and strong winds triggered by the cyclone forced more than 11,000 people from their homes. More than 147,000 people have been affected, according to the latest estimates.
Several buildings were destroyed and towns were flooded. In total, 87 municipalities were hit, authorities said, reporting 223 injured.
The governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, visited the municipality of Muçum on Thursday, the most affected with at least 15 deaths and some 30 missing, and promised that it would be quickly rebuilt.
"We will guarantee the reconstruction of these cities, their infrastructure and the lives of these people," Leite said at a press conference, estimating the need to rebuild road infrastructure at around $20 million.
Nearly a thousand rescuers and a dozen helicopters were deployed as part of the rescue operations, which became complicated on Thursday after the collapse of two bridges and the partial or total blockage of several roads.
Authorities expect the unstable weather to persist in the region until Saturday morning "due to the approach and advance of a cold front" from neighboring Uruguay.
Brazil frequently experiences extreme weather events, and scientists link them to the effects of climate change.
In June, a cyclone caused at least 13 deaths in the same state of Rio Grande do Sul.
In February, 65 people were killed by landslides caused by record rains that hit Sao Sebastiao, a resort town about 200 kilometers from Sao Paulo in the southeast of the country.
09/09/2023 01:14:19 - Brasilia (AFP) - © 2023 AFP