10 killed in deadly Brazil storms

Sao Paulo, May 2 (UNI) The death toll from deadly storms that have lashed southern Brazil since Monday rose to 10 on Wednesday, with 21 others still missing, the civil defense agency said.

Flooding and mudslides led the state of Rio Grande do Sul to suspend classes for Thursday, when Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to visit the state to assess the damage and provide federal funding, Governor Eduardo Leite announced.

Leite described the situation as “dramatic,” saying help was needed to rescue people trapped in inundated homes.

“Everything indicates this will be the worst climate disaster ever in our state,” said Leite, noting the meteorological service has forecast rain through Saturday.

Some 4,400 residents have been evacuated, with 107 cities declaring a state of emergency.

In Santa Maria, one of the state’s major cities, a mudslide took place Wednesday and a river burst its banks and washed away bridges and roads.

Rio Grande do Sul’s extreme weather this year follows nine extratropical cyclones in 2023 that claimed more than 100 lives from flooding and mudslides.

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