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News > Brazil

Brazilian President Postpones Visit to Chile to Focus on Floods

  • A flooded Brazilian city, May 13, 2024.

    A flooded Brazilian city, May 13, 2024. | Photo: X/ @andr67272991

Published 13 May 2024

So far, 2.1 million people have been affected by the lack of housing, food, water, energy, and medical services.

On Monday, Brazilian President Lula da Silva announced the postponement of his visit to Chile, which was planned for next Friday. He made that decision to be able to focus on attending to the victims of the floods affecting southern Brazil, which have left 146 dead so far.


Brazil: Number of Deaths Due to Floods Rises to 144

The visit was postponed "due to the need to monitor the situation of the floods in Rio Grande do Sul and to coordinate the assistance to the affected population and the reconstruction tasks," the Foreign Affairs Ministry said, adding that the new dates for the visit have not yet been defined.

On May 17 and 18, Lula was scheduled to visit Chile for a bilateral meeting with President Gabriel Boric and to participate in a seminar with businessmen from both countries organized by the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (APEX).

The main objective of the visit was to add Boric among the presidents supporting the Brazilian initiative to relaunch the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), currently inoperative due to disagreements between governments in the region.

The text reads, "Impressive images of before and after the floods in Rio Grande do Sul."

Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay officially withdrew from UNASUR due to these disagreements. The issue was discussed at the meeting Lula had in April in Bogota with Colombian President Gustavo Petro.

Over the past two weeks, rains in southern Brazil have left 146 dead and 132 missing. The National Natural Disaster Monitoring Center predicts a worsening of the situation due to the rising of rivers from the expected storms starting on Monday.

"Accumulated rainfall is expected to exceed 150 millimeters. A very high risk alert was issued due to the threat of new floods and landslides," local newspaper CBN reported.

"The rivers rose again and the level of the Guaiba River in Porto Alegre could reach 5.5 meters on Tuesday, a level higher than the 5.35 meters reached last week. The Taquari River rose over 7 meters in 24 hours and once again exceeded the flood level in cities such as Lajeado and Estrela. The cities of Encantado and Roca Sales are also on alert," it added.

Rescue efforts have focused on distributing humanitarian aid to 620,000 displaced people, 82,200 of whom are in temporary shelters. So far, 2.1 million people have been affected by the lack of housing, food, water, energy, and medical services.


Lula da Silva
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