Severe flooding in São Paulo kills 3, leaves 1 000 displaced

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Heave rains struck São Paulo, Brazil on March 20, 2018, destroying homes and property, leaving 3 people dead and over 1 000 displaced.

The storm approached São Paulo on Tuesday afternoon, bringing lightning, rain and high winds to the area.

Emergency Management Centre registered the total rainfall amounts of 40 – 90 mm (1.5 – 3.5 inches) in the city and surrounding areas. The storm brought nearly 40% of rainfall estimated normally for the whole month of March in just one day (186 mm (7.3 inches)).

Authorities say dozens of homes have been destroyed and 222 families left homeless, in addition to major roads and train lines being disrupted. Over 50 flooding related incidents were reported by São Paulo Civil Defense.

An elderly woman had a cardiac arrest in Vila Diva, Água Rasa district, while flooding caused the building wall to collapse. Three other people were rescued from the building by emergency service personnel. A small child was killed by falling in to the flooding stream of water in Água Branca in Barra Funda district. The third victim was killed by a falling tree in Alto de Pinheiros in the west of São Paulo.

On March 16, a short but very intense storm wreaked havoc in the city of Belo Horizonte and other areas of the state of Minas Gerais.

According to Civil Defense, 74.6 mm (2.93 inches) of rain fell in just 20 minutes, which is around half the historical average for the month. Other areas of the city recorded over 50 mm (1.96 inches) of rain.

The storm has caused severe flash floods, power outages and landslides. At least two people were injured, one of them seriously.

Featured image credit: Sao Paulo 011

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