At 2020's start, Brazil saw devastating rainfall that destroyed communities

Randi Mann
·2 min read
At 2020's start, Brazil saw devastating rainfall that destroyed communities
At 2020's start, Brazil saw devastating rainfall that destroyed communities

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Brazil had a trying start to 2020, namely 100 cities across three states who were under a state of emergency due to extreme rainfall.

According to Brazil’s meteorological agency, INMET, Brazil's extreme rainfall is caused by the location of the country, in the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ). SACZ describes an area that has monsoonal characteristics, which causes Brazil's summer thunderstorms.

Though the amount of rain that fell on Brazil between Dec. 25 and Jan. 26 was double the historical average.

  Flooding in Greater São Paulo after the Tiete and Pinheiros rivers broke their banks. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas
Flooding in Greater São Paulo after the Tiete and Pinheiros rivers broke their banks. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas

Flooding in Greater São Paulo. Courtesy: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas

Between Jan. 23 - 24, the city of Belo Horizonte saw 171 mm of rain. This amount obliterated the standing record set 110 years before.

In the state of Minas Gerais, more than 15,000 people were evacuated from their homes. In the state of Espirito Santo, 10,000 people were evacuated, and in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, 6,000 were evacuated.

Flooding in Espirito Santo Brazil late January 2020 Photo: Government of Espirito Santo
Flooding in Espirito Santo Brazil late January 2020 Photo: Government of Espirito Santo

Flooding in Espirito Santo Brazil. Courtesy: Government of Espirito Santo

Those who were evacuated stayed at makeshift shelters in churches, schools and fire stations.

In Minas Gerais, Brazil's second-most populous state, about 40 municipalities were badly hit.

The aggressive rainfall and flooding led to landslides.

  Flooding in Greater São Paulo after the Tiete and Pinheiros rivers broke their banks. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas
Flooding in Greater São Paulo after the Tiete and Pinheiros rivers broke their banks. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Fotos Publicas

*Landslides in Osasco, Sao Paolo. Courtesy: Defesa Civil Sao Paolo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sent in the Brazilian Armed Forces to provide aid in the affected regions.

The floods and landslides killed 70 people.

To hear more about Brazil's disastrous floods, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Thumbnail: Flooding in Espirito Santo Brazil in January 2020. Courtesy of Government of Espirito Santo