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Catastrophic flood destruction in Brazil could worsen with more rain on the way

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AccuWeather meteorologists say that massive flooding that has plagued southern Brazil for weeks could worsen as additional storms enter the flood-ravaged area.

Heavy rain has repeatedly doused southern Brazil and Uruguay since late April, causing both short-term creek and long-term river flooding.

The death toll has risen to 149, with 124 still missing, ABC News reported Tuesday.

Over 30,000 soldiers and police have been deployed to rescue nearly 70,000 people and 10,000 animals, but the spread of disinformation is slowing rescue and recovery, according to the Associated Press.

A flood at the beginning of May devastated the city of Rio Grande do Sul when the Taquari River reached a new 150-year record height — by 12 feet (4 meters). MetSul Meteorologia, a weather media organization in Brazil, said that in 30 years of covering weather, they had never observed such catastrophic destruction.

Aerial view of Cruzeiro do Sul following the devastating floods that hit the region, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on May 14, 2024. Rivers in south Brazil rose anew on the eve, as flood rescue efforts intensified. Up to now, heavy rains, flooding and mudslides that have ravaged the southern Rio Grande do Sul state for about two weeks have left 147 people killed, about 600,000 people displaced, more than 800 injured and 127 people reported missing. (NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, more rain is in the forecast.

“A slow-moving cold front will drift from Uruguay to Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil, Wednesday and Thursday but will stall on Friday with additional rain, some heavy, and thunderstorms across the region into next weekend,” AccuWeather Lead International Forecaster Jason Nicholls explained.

Nicholls added that widespread rainfall of 2-4 inches (mm) is likely in northern Rio Grande do Sul into Santa Catarina Thursday afternoon and Friday. This could quickly become a problem in the Porto Alegre area, where the airport flooded last week. Localized amounts could reach 8 inches. Porto Alegre, Brazil reported 13.03 inches (331 mm) of rain in four days, more than their historical average rainfall for all of May in the city of 4.53 inches.

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