Floods and Landslides Kills Dozens in Greater Recife Area

Flooding and landslides killed dozens of people in Brazil’s northeastern Pernambuco state by Saturday, May 28, after rains over several days were followed record-breaking downpours, officials said.

Images online depicted floodwaters raging down streets, damaging homes and businesses, and inundating transport hubs. This footage from Fernando Lima shows floodwaters covering the floor inside a public bus as streets became submerged.

According to Brazilian media, officials said at least 35 people had died as a result of the storms, with 30 of them killed in landslides on Saturday alone. At least 20 people died in a landslide in Jardim Monte Verde, they said.

Mayor of the city of Recife João Campos said the city had activated a contingency plan to respond to the weather “phenomenon” that struck the city, with at least 428 mm (16.9 inches) of rain falling over a 96-hour period. Multiple schools were being opened to act as shelters for people displaced by the floods, he said.

In the 12 hours up to 11 am Saturday, some parts of the the Recife recorded more than 230 mm (9 inches) of rain, which equates to 70 percent of the average monthly rainfall in May, the Civil Defense of Recife said.

G1 reported that two houses collapsed into a river in Macaparana.

The deluge also caused damage at Recife International Airport, where a 30-meter wall collapsed, and major disruption to public transport networks, reports said.

Further rains and high tides were expected to cause further flooding into Sunday, reports said. Credit: Fernando Lima via Storyful