"The situation in Caraa worries us deeply..."
On Sunday, Brazil’s civil defense agency reported that the death toll rose to 13 from the extratropical cyclone that hit the southern part of the nation over the weekend, 4 people remain missing.
On late Thursday and early Friday, Torrential rain and strong winds started and caused damage in more than 40 towns in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which borders neighboring Uruguay and Argentina. Authorities had preemptively evacuated some 80 people from high-risk areas.
On Saturday, Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite visited the most affected areas along with government and rescue officials. In Caraa, the governor visited a community center used to shelter hundreds of people whose homes were damaged by the storm.
"The situation in Caraa worries us deeply. It is essential that we can, in an integrated manner, quickly map the main affected areas and identify the people who need support," Leite said in an official statement.
The civil defense agency has stated that the search operation for those missing is still going on; moreover.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has pledged federal aid to the affected area.
According to Leite, state firefighters had rescued around 2,400 people in the past two days.
"Our main objective at this moment is to protect and save human lives. Rescue people who are isolated, locate the missing and support families," Leite said.
Official data show that nearly 5,000 houses were damaged, and, on Sunday, around 84,000 people were without power.
On Sunday, streets in the towns of Novo Hamburgo, Lindolfo Collor and Sao Leopoldo were still flooded.
Moreover, further rainfall and cold temperatures are expected in the middle of next week