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At least 27 dead as flooding ravages southeast Brazil

By Heather Law, Brandon Miller and Derek Van Dam, CNN

(CNN) — At least 27 people have been killed in southeast Brazil as rainfall continues to ravage parts of the country, according to CNN affiliate CNN Brasil citing state authorities.

The death toll in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo rose to 19, and at least eight people have been killed in neighboring state Rio de Janeiro, CNN Brasil reported citing each state’s respective Civil Defense.

At least six people are still missing, and more than 7,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Espirito Santo, according to CNN Brasil.

Warnings for heavy rainfall are in place through Tuesday morning with lingering threats of scattered showers and storms over the region, according to the latest forecast predictions, where rainfall can potentially reach up to 50 millimeters (2 inches) per day through Tuesday.

There are higher rainfall chances and new flood potential in central Brazil through midweek, with daily rainfall potentially reaching 100 mm (4 inches) in 24 hours.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva shared his condolences to those affected in a post on X on Saturday, saying “the federal government sympathizes with the affected families and lives lost and is in constant contact with state and municipal governments to protect, prevent and repair flood damage.”

Rescue operations are underway in both states, and residents are being urged to exercise caution, Rio de Janeiro Governor Claudio Castro and Espirito Santo Governor Renato Casagrande posted on X late last week.

Flooding and landslides remain one of the main concerns as rainfall has yet to cease through the week.

The climate crisis is helping to fuel more intense and more frequent rainfall events, and in Brazil this combines with rapid urbanization and often unsafe construction to deadly effect. More than 30 were killed after heavy rains last year in Rio Grande do Sul, while another 20 died in flooding in 2022 in Sao Paulo.

CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar contributed to this report

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