At least 13 people have been killed and thousands forced from their homes after a cyclone tore through southern Brazil.
Heavy rain and strong winds damaged dozens of cities in Rio Grande do Sul state, including the capital Porto Alegre, on Thursday and Friday, the latest in a string of weather-related disasters to hit South America’s largest country.
A four-month-old baby was among the dead, according to local media, which broadcast footage of a car being swept into a cemetery by strong winds.
“The water inside the house is up to our waist. Thank God, the firemen came quickly and got us into the boat. It felt like a nightmare,” one woman, who did not give her name, told the Estadio newspaper in the city of São Leopoldo.
About 5,000 people had damaged homes and about 84,000 people were without power on Sunday.
In São Leopoldo, about half an hour’s drive from Porto Alegre, 246 mm (9.7 inches) of rain fell in 18 hours, “never seen before in the history” of the city of 240,000 inhabitants, stressed Vanazzi, Porto Alegre Mayor Ari Jose.
On Sunday, streets in the towns of Novo Hamburgo, Lindolfo Collar and São Leopoldo were still flooded.
When the rain stopped, the soldiers were able to carry out a rescue operation in Novo Hamburgo.
More rain and colder temperatures are expected in the middle of next week, however, further exacerbating the situation for those already affected.
Brazil has suffered a number of severe weather disasters in recent years, which experts say are getting worse due to climate change.
At least 65 people died in February after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo.