March 26, 2023

The Political Chronicle

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“Worst disaster in Bahia history”

Two more people have been killed in flash floods in the state of Bahia (northeastern Brazil), with the death toll rising to 20 since the beginning of November, with nearly 63,000 people displaced, officials say. Local Monday.

“We are experiencing the worst disaster in the history of Bahia,” said Governor Rui Costa, who has been overseeing joint operations with the federal government and other states in the affected areas since Saturday.

“It’s a great tragedy. I do not remember any of this dimension in Bahia’s recent history.

South Bahia was already devastated by heavy rains in late November and the rains have intensified again since Thursday, with ditches breaking and flooding in recent days.

Two new deaths have been reported in Itabuna. A 21-year-old man was swept away in a flood and a 33-year-old woman was killed in a landslide, according to a recent local government report Monday afternoon.

The number of displaced people has almost doubled since Sunday, with 62,796 people forced to flee their homes, according to Bahia’s Civil Defense (Sudek).

In all, some 116 municipalities, including at least 100 emergencies, and 471,009 people have been affected by the floods and since November, about 358 people have been injured.

“The water at the source of the Kachoira River is starting to recede, albeit slowly, and it is expected to improve in the coming days,” the governor said.

Houses were swallowed up in several municipalities in the south of the state and streets turned into rivers, affected by heavy rains since Thursday, causing dams to burst and rivers to overflow over the weekend.

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AFP aerial footage shows three men paddling face litter on straw mattresses on a street surrounded by houses in Idabettinga.

In this completely submerged city, Italicio dos Santos tried to navigate through the brown water in a small inflatable boat.

“I have already made twenty trips to bring people in,” says this resident.

In the small neighboring town of Itambe, Tiola Almeida helped her mother save some supplies.

“In some houses, the water level has risen to 1.80 meters, and in my mother’s, up to 1.40 meters,” he explains.

A month-long equivalent of rain fell in a few hours in some municipalities.

Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, received up to five times the historic average of 58 mm on Friday, according to the city’s Department of Civil Defense.

Estael Sias, a meteorologist with the forecasting company MetSul, estimates that there is a “link” between the intensity of rainfall in the northeast of the country and the La Nina climate event, which causes more than normal rainfall.