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Girl Rescued After 16 Hours Under Rubble in Brazil Storm Tragedy

Rescue teams in the southeastern region of Brazil have successfully saved a girl who was trapped under rubble for more than 16 hours. The collapse of a house occurred during a powerful storm on Friday, causing devastation and claiming the lives of at least a dozen people.

Authorities have mobilized teams to the mountainous regions of Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil, responding to what officials describe as a “critical” situation in the aftermath of heavy rainfall. Among the reported fatalities in Rio state, four occurred due to a house collapse in the city of Petropolis, situated 70 kilometers inland from the capital.

Luis Claudio de Souza, aged 63, expressed a mixture of grief and gratitude as he reflected on the tragic incident involving the girl and her father. He hailed the father’s heroic sacrifice, emphasizing how the deceased man shielded his daughter with his own body. Despite the sorrow surrounding the loss of both individuals, there’s a sense of gratitude for what is seen as a miraculous outcome amidst the tragedy.

This calamity strikes Brazil amidst a series of extreme weather events, a trend experts attribute to climate change. In Rio de Janeiro state alone, at least nine individuals have lost their lives, while the neighboring state of Espirito Santo reports four fatalities and seven people missing.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva acknowledged the severity of the situation, emphasizing that such environmental catastrophes are exacerbated by climate change. Thousands have been displaced by the storm, prompting government efforts to provide relief and support.

Brazil storm kills at least 21 people and displaces more than 1,600 – NBC  Boston

Governor Renato Casagrande described the situation in the town of Mimoso do Sul as “chaotic,” with the full extent of the casualties yet to be determined. In Sao Paulo state, two children were hospitalized due to storm-related injuries.

Rio Governor Claudio Castro has declared the situation in Petropolis as “critical,” attributing it to heavy rainfall and the overflowing of the Quitandinha River. The deployment of soldiers and the opening of schools to shelter displaced individuals signify the scale of the crisis.

Since Friday, approximately 90 people have been rescued, according to reports from an emergency committee comprising the Rio government and civil defense officials.

Images from Petropolis depict torrents of water, mud, and debris cascading down slopes. Similar scenes unfolded in Mimoso do Sul, where entire neighborhoods were submerged, leaving only rooftops visible.

Forecasters anticipate continued heavy rainfall in the mountains and northern regions of Rio. Petropolis has already recorded 30 centimeters of rain in 24 hours, surpassing 22 centimeters in other cities like Teresopolis and Mage.

Authorities in Rio declared an administrative holiday on Friday and urged residents to remain indoors. The storm follows a record heatwave, with humidity contributing to a heat index exceeding 62 degrees Celsius.

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