The biggest climate disaster in the last 10 years in Brazil, and the deadliest in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, has so far left 36 people dead and 5,800 affected by the force of the tropical storm.
The typhoon’s attack was felt in 79 towns and forced 10,000 people to leave their homes, most of them in only their clothes. In total there are more than 56,000 affected, to which is added the search for 46 people reported missing.
A resident of Roca Sales, one of the most affected towns where rescuers rescued 10 lifeless bodies, told AFP that it was a difficult situation as if it was the end of the world. “Everything was destroyed. I have never seen anything like that here. It’s crazy,” said Nelson Noll, 75 years old, while pointing to the areas of houses that collapsed in the typhoon.
As of Friday afternoon, a thousand rescuers and a dozen helicopters were deployed in the rescue efforts, which were complicated after two bridges were destroyed and more than a dozen routes were partially or completely blocked by ruins.
The Armed Forces deployed eight aircraft, in addition to machinery and half a thousand troops to help the work, said Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, appointed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to deal with the disaster, as he attended at the G20 summit in India.
“We are acting on all fronts,” Lula wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Alckmin announced in a press conference in Brasilia that the federal government will send 20,000 food baskets and medicine kits for 15,000 people in Rio Grande do Sul, whose authorities have declared a state of calamity. .
In addition, more than 3,000 people who lost their homes will receive 800 reais ($167) as an emergency measure while definitive aid is provided.
The governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, gave the first estimates of the final reconstruction work, estimating that about 100 million reais (about 20 million dollars) are needed to recover the road infrastructure.
“We will guarantee the reconstruction of the cities, that infrastructure and the lives of the people,” Leite said in a press conference.
The president of the region also reported that there are still people on the roofs waiting to be rescued and fleeing the flood brought by the typhoon in some towns. Some of the citizens continue to sleep outside.
The authorities predicted that the bad weather will continue, at least, until this Saturday “due to the approach and successive development of a cold front” from neighboring Uruguay.