Authorities in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo report that heavy flooding and landslides have killed at least 36 people, forcing some cities to postpone their annual Carnival celebrations.
Video displayed submerged neighborhoods, flooded highways, and debris left behind after houses were swept away. Rescue workers have had difficulty getting to survivors and clearing traffic.
On Sunday, some places received more rain than 600mm (23.6 inches), which is twice the monthly average.
“Search and rescue teams are not managing to get to several places; it is a chaotic situation,” said Felipe Augusto, the mayor of the hard-hit town of São Sebastião. “Unfortunately, we are going to have many more deaths,” a civil defence official told newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
“We have not yet gauged the scale of the damage. We are trying to rescue the victims.”
Mr. Augusto continued, stating that the situation remained “very grave,” adding that the village had dozens of missing people and that roughly 50 homes had collapsed and been destroyed.
At least 35 deaths were claimed by the state administration in So Sebastio, while a little girl’s death was reported by the mayor of Ubatuba, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the northeast. Hundreds of people have been evacuated and evacuated.
Threatening to worsen the situation for rescue teams, further heavy rain is predicted in the area. As the effects of climate change set in, extreme weather phenomena like the floods are anticipated to become more frequent. More than 230 people were killed by severe rain in the southeast city of Petropolis last year.