Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul still far from recovering from floods

Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul still far from recovering from floods
Porto Alegre's Salgado Filho continues not to be operational but flights are serving an Air Force base nearby

BRASILIA, May 22 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — Brazilian authorities have released a new report updating the number of casualties in the storm-hit State of Rio Grande do Sul to 157 with 88 people still missing and some 650,000 others displaced.

Excessive rainfall since April 29 has affected 2,336,136 people, 82,666 of whom have been rescued by the relief efforts involving 27,176 responders.

In this scenario, Rio Grande do Sul’s Public Security Secretariat said 130 people were arrested for looting, mainly in the flooded city of Porto Alegre and its metropolitan region. With the State capital’s Salgado Filho International Airport not expected to reopen soon, Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency authorized the use of the Brazilian Air Force base in the nearby city of Canoas for humanitarian, military, and commercial flights to allow a greater flow of aid and food supplies.

The flooding also rendered almost every factory in the state unoperational, in addition to spoiling the rice fields, which accounts for a significant part of the State’s productive matrix.

On a brighter note, Monday’s figures showed a slight decline in the number of people housed in shelters, with 76,188 victims remaining in that condition.

So far, 463 municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul’s 497 have been affected by the unprecedented bad weather. State authorities also said that there were still 83 stretches of total or partial roadblocks on 47 highways. Some 178,000 people continued to be without any electricity by Monday, it was also reported. — NNN-MERCOPRESS


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