São Paulo

Brazil’s Southeast may face landslides and storms until Sunday

The cold front arriving in the Brazilian Southeast this Friday (Mar. 22) is expected to bring rainfall of up to 100 millimeters in 24 hours, as well as flooding and landslides. In Rio de Janeiro state, precipitation could add up to 200 millimeters by Sunday (24).

The rain comes as a result of the approach of a cold front that advanced through the southern region of the country on Thursday (21). Brazil’s authority for natural disasters Cemaden reported today that the highest volumes of rain should be observed between Friday night and the early hours of Saturday.

“That’s already a problem as it is, because we’ll probably accumulate significant volumes of rain during the early hours of Saturday morning, and we know that logistics become more difficult,” said Cemaden Operations Director Marcelo Seluchi.

The National Meteorological Institute, Inmet, predicts very high rainfall starting today, affecting the northern coast of São Paulo, the entire state of Rio de Janeiro, the Zona da Mata in Minas Gerais, as well as the south of Espírito Santo.

“If we take the total rainfall from today until Sunday, we could have over 200mm in these areas,” said the institute’s Coordinator Márcia Seabra. Forecasts also predict storm surges in some areas and waves of up to 2.5m tall on the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro, the hardest-hit regions should be the Costa Verde, the metropolitan region and, most of all, the Região Serrana, where landslides could be widespread. “Taking into account the expected volume, we can’t rule out more serious episodes such as mass or debris flows,” said Seluchi. The situation could also affect the southern part of Minas Gerais, which borders the state.

In São Paulo, overflowing is likely to happen more quickly, especially in urban areas and near streams. Landslides in São Paulo will also be more isolated and sparse, but possible road blockages, particularly on the Tamoios highway, which has a closure protocol when rainfall exceeds 100mm.


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