In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, recent heavy rains have caused the worst flood in 80 years, resulting in 39 deaths and leaving 68 individuals missing.

This disaster has prompted thousands to evacuate their homes, impacting several cities across the region, the state’s civil defense agency reports. Notably, this event marks the fourth major flood to hit the area in Brazil within the year, adding to a death toll that now totals 114 from such incidents since July.

Historic Flood Levels

According to the Brazilian Geological Service, the floodwaters surged beyond the peak levels of a historic flood in 1941. In certain cities, water levels reached heights not seen since record-keeping began nearly 150 years ago.

The overflow was so severe that it partially collapsed a dam at a hydroelectric plant located between Bento Goncalves and Cotipora, inundating cities in the Taquari River valley, including Lajeado and Estrela.

Residents in Feliz, roughly 80 kilometers from Porto Alegre, witnessed the destruction of a critical bridge by the rising river waters, effectively isolating them from Linha Nova. The disaster has disrupted essential services such as electricity, communication, and water, leaving over 24,000 people without homes, as confirmed by the civil defense agency.


The magnitude of the flooding has posed significant challenges for emergency responders. Helicopters have been deployed to rescue stranded families and children from rooftops, amidst conditions where many areas are cut off from electricity or internet, complicating communication efforts with families in other states.

This series of floods highlights the southern region’s heightened vulnerability to extreme weather events. With ongoing rescue operations, authorities continue to caution residents, urging them to remain vigilant and steer clear of affected zones.

The floods’ devastating impact underscores the urgent need for improved disaster preparedness and response strategies in Brazil’s flood-prone areas. Moving forward, strengthening infrastructure, enhancing early warning systems, and fostering community resilience will be critical to mitigating the effects of such disasters in the future.

Image Source: Reuters