World February 20, 2023 | 3:00 pm

The death toll from heavy torrential rains in Sao Paulo, Brazil rises to 24

At least 24 people have lost their lives due to torrential rains that have hit the north coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, since last Saturday night. Among the fatalities is a child under the age of 7 who lost his life after a landslide in Ubatuba, while the rest of the people died in Sao Sebastiao, the municipality most affected by the inclement weather. The Governor of Sao Paulo and, who was also Minister of Infrastructure during the Bolsonaro Administration, Tarcísio de Freitas, has decreed a state of public calamity for the cities of Ubatuba; Sao Sebastian; Ilhabela; Caraguatuba, and Bertioga, in the region of the north coast of Sao Paulo. According to local media, the volume of rainfall in the towns on the north coast of Sao Paulo has exceeded the average forecast for the entire month of February in just the last 24 hours. In the case of Sao Sebastiao, the volume of rainfall has doubled that expected for the entire month, with 627 mm, with an average of 303 mm.

During an interview granted to the Brazilian media ‘GloboNews’, the Minister of Integration and Regional Development, Waldez Góes, warned about the possibility of an increase in the death toll with victims possibly under the rubble. The governor of Sao Paulo has asked the Army for help in getting firefighters and medical teams to the areas where the most landslides have occurred, a complicated task due to the blockade suffered by the roads. “The damage is enormous, gigantic. We are going to work all night and the priority now is to save the people who are under the rubble. All kinds of houses collapsed, the most modest, but also those of the middle and upper class,” has stated the mayor of Sao Sebastiao, Felipe Augusto, in statements collected by ‘O Globo’.

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has announced that he will visit Sao Paulo tomorrow in order to “continue with the efforts to face this tragedy”, he has published via Twitter. In turn, Lula has held a meeting with the head of Integration and Regional Development, as well as with the governor of Sao Paulo and the mayor of Sao Sebastiao to help those affected by the rains. “We are going to unite all levels of government and, with the solidarity of society, assist the wounded, search for the missing, restore roads, electrical connections, and telecommunications in the region”, President Lula concluded.

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