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Death toll from heavy rains, flooding rises to 13 in southern Brazil

Heavy rains and flooding have killed 13 people so far in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul so far. Thousands have been displaced and 21 are still missing.

The death toll from heavy rains in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul rose to 13, local authorities said on Thursday, May 2, 2024, as the state government declared a state of public calamity to handle the dramatic situation.

The storms, which have caused the greatest devastation in the state in recent years, also left 21 people missing and 5,257 displaced in 134 cities, according to Rio Grande do Sul's civil defense.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to fly over the affected areas and meet with Governor Eduardo Leite later on Thursday in Santa Maria, which has seen three deaths, the most so far in one place.

10 CONFIRMED DEAD AFTER FIRE AT BRAZILIAN HOTEL, AUTHORITIES SAY

Leite declared a state of public calamity, citing the risk faced by the state as a result of climate events.

The Rio Grande do Sul floods are just the latest recent natural disasters in Brazil. The state had already been battered by a tropical cyclone last September, when more than 30 people were killed.

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