The death toll in southern Brazil from a tropical storm that caused flooding in several cities has reached 21, authorities in Rio Grande Do Sul state said Tuesday.
“Rio Grande is in mourning. There are now 21 confirmed victims of the rains that began on Sunday. We are dismayed by the lethality of this climatic event and are mobilized to save everyone who is still in danger,” Governor Eduardo Leite wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
According to Leite, most of the deaths have occurred in Mucum, a small municipality of 4,961 inhabitants located in the state’s center, where 15 bodies were recovered after the Taquari River overflowed its banks and completely flooded the region.
According to the latest civil security report, 66 municipalities have been impacted so far, with 2.7 million inhabitants affected by the heavy rains and the central and northern areas of the state suffering the most damage.
So far, authorities have reported that 2,984 people have been displaced and up to 1,650 people left homeless.
Local media have reported that fire department and civil defense personnel have not been able to attend to all the victims of the flooding caused by the cyclone, forcing people to climb onto their roofs to avoid the floods.
The federal government will dispatch a special rescue team on Wednesday.
Through his X account, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his concern and support for the cyclone victims on Monday, when the number of victims was only four.
“I would like to express my solidarity with the people of Rio Grande do Sul, who are experiencing heavy rains that have already caused the death of at least four people. The head of civil defense is going to the state to help remedy the problems caused by the heavy rains. We will do everything we can to help the people of Rio Grande do Sul get through this time,” he said.