According to the mayor of Petropolis, Brazil, the death toll might yet climb. According to Brazil’s National Meteorological Institute, the rains that caused the disaster were the highest the city has experienced since 1952. According to many scientists, extreme weather events are becoming more prevalent as a result of global warming. Flooding and mudslides raced over a hilly region north of Rio de Janeiro. ‘What we observed was a pretty intense occurrence’, said Cassia de Castro Martins Ferreira, an extreme weather researcher at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora.
Claudio Castro, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, stated during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that preventive measures were needed to protect similar tragedies from happening again. Heavy rains are normal throughout the summer months in Brazil, but most experts think that extreme weather occurrences are becoming more regular. Floods in the country’s northeast killed at least 20 people and affected over 50,000 people in December. Moreover, hundreds of people were murdered in So Paulo and Minas Gerais last month as heavy rains swept across the two states.