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Brazil: Floods and landslides in Santa Catarina state June 4

Heavy rain causes floods and landslides in state of Santa Catarina on June 4; almost 10,000 affected and traffic disruptions due to road closures

05 Jun 07:09 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/5/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/5/2017, 11:59 PM (America/Sao_Paulo). COUNTRY/REGION Santa Catarina

Event

Heavy rainfall in on Sunday, June 4, has caused floods and landslides in multiple areas in the state of Santa Catarina. Almost 10,000 people in 85 municipalities have been affected, with schools in Lages and 11 other municipalities closed until further notice. The West, Midwest, Serra Catarinense, Southern State, and Greater Florianópolis areas received the most amount of rain, with Abdon Batista, Fraiburgo, and Anita Garibaldi experiencing record levels of flooding. The Civil Defense services have been deployed to provide emergency assistance.

Multiple roads have been closed as of Monday, June 5, including multiple sections of highway BR-282. At kilometer 137, in Born Retiro, part of the highway is blocked due to flooding. At kilometer 79, in Rancho Queimado, a fallen barrier has blocked the Lages-Florianópolis bound lane with traffic in the other lane alternating directions. In São José do Cerrito, at kilometer 253, a crack in the road has shut down one lane, resulting in traffic in the other lane alternating directions.

A flood alert has been issued on June 5 for highway BR-470, with flooding expected within the next few hours. There are reports of holes in the road between Apiúna and Pouso Redondo, and a risk of a barrier collapsing between kilometer 110 and kilometer 120. At kilometer 144, the sinking of a lane due to a ruptured manhole has caused a closure of the east-bound lane. The National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT) stated that teams are onsite to conduct repairs.

DNIT is urging residents to reduce speed and drive with caution in affected areas. The Federal Highway Police are advising against travel through the Serra de Santa Catarina. Those who are unable to avoid the region are advised to use BR-280 near Jaraguá do Sul, Rio Negrinho, and Mafra.

Context

Torrential rains regularly hit the northeast of the country, as well as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, sometimes leading to deadly mudslides and floods. The rainy season in the northeast runs from April to July, and from November until March in the south and southeast.

Advice

Individuals present in Santa Catarina state are advised to monitor the situation, to avoid areas directly hit by flooding, and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs disposed of.​

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