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January 17, 2011 / Dave Gorham

Floods and Landslides in Brazil and the Philippines…Death Toll Continues to Rise

In YourWeatherBlog last week we talked about the devastating floods that hit Australia and today the government is saying it could be the country’s most expensive natural disaster to date. However, it’s not just Australia that’s dealing with disastrous floods. Heavy rain has also fallen in Brazil causing devastating floods and landslides. So far more than 625 people have been killed and officials said at least 14,000 are homeless.

Catastrophic floods and landslides hit Brazil. Photo: AP

The rain doesn’t look to end anytime soon as a stationary front will continue to bring periods of showers and thunderstorms to southeastern Brazil the next few days. This includes the Rio de Janeiro area. Daily rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches, isolated 4 inches, will be possible, especially west of Rio de Janeiro. Areas that have received the recent heavy rains will be at an increased threat of flooding and landslides. In addition, a few of the stronger storms could become severe with frequent lightning and gusty winds the main threats.

Rio de Janeiro will continue to see periods of heavy rain the next few days. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps 2.0

Rio de Janeiro has a tropical savanna climate and their rainy season typically runs from December to March, so it’s pretty typical this time of year that they get long periods of heavy rain. What makes this year different is there was a strong cold front that actually intensified the heavy rains across the area. In just eight hours, the Rio area received a month’s worth of rain and this is what caused the catastrophic flooding and landslides. Hundreds of military personnel have been sent out to clear the roads, distribute food and also to recover bodies. Rio Governor Sergio Cabral has declared a state of emergency in at least seven municipalities.

Photo: AFP

In the Philippines, torrential rains have also fallen the past three weeks causing floods and mudslides. So far over 1.5 million people have been affected and over 50 people have died. Showers and thunderstorms will continue to develop across portions of the southern Philippines over the next couple of days along a stationary front. Daily rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches, isolated 5 inches, are possible. Areas that have recently flooded will be at an increased risk for additional flooding.

Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps 2.0

Weeks of heavy rain have caused catastrophic flooding and landslides in the Philippines. Photo: AP

Hopefully the Philippines, Brazil and Australia will get a break from the rain soon. They’ll certainly be in our thoughts as the cleanup and recovery efforts begin.

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