Torrential rain pummeled Northeastern Brazil, causing catastrophic landslides. Authorities in the Pernambuco state have confirmed that 106 people are dead and at least eight people are still unaccounted for, CBS and AFP reported. Thousands of people have been displaced by the flooding and landslides as well.
The rain began last week and the landslides struck by Friday, damaging homes in favelas across the cities of Recife and Jaboatao dos Guararapes, the Guardian reports. Homes in favelas are often belong to impoverished communities and tend to be built into hillsides, making them prone to damage from natural disasters and extreme weather.
Photos of the disaster zones throughout Brazil show collapsed walls, mud-caked walls, and people trudging through what look like thick layers of brown sludge. The debris and heavy mud is making rescue efforts more difficult, and time is running out to find more people alive in some of the ruins.
This disaster is just one of several landslides that have occurred in the country this year. In February, intense rain followed by flooding in Petrópolis, a Southeast municipality in Brazil, triggered a massive landslide, Yale Climate Connections reported. More than 230 people were confirmed dead as a result of that disaster.
The climate crisis has changed precipitation in many parts of the world, causing more intense and more frequent rainfall. This means more downpours, more flooding, and more potential landslides are going to strike in communities across Brazil and elsewhere that are often not prepared for these disasters.
Sadly, the affected areas are still at risk for more landslides this week.