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Floods cause major damage in Southern Brazil

Southern Brazil is engulfed by the heaviest and most persistent flooding for decades, which has killed scores of people with many more missing.

By James Blears

The rains started falling on Monday and have continued gathering pace and ferocity.

It’s expected they will persist until at least Sunday.

The epicentre of the disaster zone is the State of Rio Grande do Sul, where more than 150 communities including cities have been flooded and swamped.

Rivers have burst their banks and many, who were not able to flee in time are trapped on rooftops. A dam serving a hydroelectric plant has partially collapsed, greatly worsening the already critical crisis.

Huge areas are without clean drinking water or electricity.

Listen to James Blears’ report

The worst disaster in their history

Governor Eduardo Leite says it’s the worst disaster in their history. In some areas, the water levels are the highest since climatic records began more than 150 years ago.  

Civil defence is overflying the region in helicopters and the area that is cut off has been declared a disaster zone.

Many have persished, yet more are missing and the death toll is expected to rise. 

Weather experts say that the El Nino phenomenon, which is principally due to man-made pollution, is a major contributory factor because it’s created hemispheric and global warming, which radically, permanently, and harmfully alters weather patterns. 

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