January 26, 2020
The highest rainfall total in 110 years poured down over Belo Horizonte, a state capital in Brazil, which forced thousands to flee from their homes. Record-breaking flooding rain and landslides have killed at least 53 people in this area.Civil Defense officials told the Associated Press that 2,600 people were evacuated from their houses, 19 people are listed as missing following a landslide on Saturday in the state of Minas Gerais, where they experienced 48 hours of torrential rains.For federal disaster aid, State Gov. Gustavo Zema declared a state of emergency in 47 cities.
At least 53 dead after record-breaking rainfall triggers landslides in Brazil
Locals work to clean up mud and debris around houses destroyed by a landslide after heavy rains in Vila Ideal neighborhood, Ibirite municipality, Minas Gerias state, Brazil, Saturday, Jan.25, 2020. (AP Photo/Alexandre Mota-Futura Press) "A cold front swept across eastern South America through the end of last week, spreading periods of rain and thunderstorms from northern Argentina into eastern Brazil," AccuWeather Meteorologist Maura Kelly said.Ahead of this front northerly winds helped to draw in tropical moisture from near the equator, which Kelly said fueled flooding downpours across eastern Brazil, particularly in the state of Minas Gerais."As the front moved into Minas Gerais on Thursday and Friday, daily rainfall totals climbed over 100 mm (4 inches) each day. On Thursday, Florestal received 174mm (6.85 inches) of rain," Kelly said.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"Farther north in Diamantina, 128 mm (5.04 inches) of rain fell on Friday with total rainfall of 350 mm (13.78 inches) from Monday to Friday. To the southeast, Caratinga reported 121mm (4.76 inches) on Saturday with 312 mm (12.28 inches) of rain throughout the week," Kelly said."The capital city of Belo Horizonte reported 154 mm (6.06 inches) from Thursday into Friday with 193 mm (7.60 inches) from Monday to Friday. Normal rainfall for the month of January in this region is around 150-175 mm (6-7 inches)," Kelly said.According to Kelly, the front that bought the flooding rainfall to part of Brazil is expected to linger over the region into at least the middle of the week and will continue to produce periods of rain and thunderstorms across Minas Gerais as rescue and recovery efforts continue.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
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