Publication Date January 27, 2020

Record southeastern Brazil rainstorms kill 30


Signals Summary: Climate change is making extreme rainfall and record rainfall events more common because warmer oceans means there is more water to fuel storms and warmer air can hold more moisture. These extreme rainfall events have led to an increase in the risk of flooding and landslides. 

Article Excerpt: At least 30 people have been killed in two days of intense storms in southeastern Brazil, the Minas Gerais state Civil Defense office said Saturday.


Most of the victims were killed in landslides or buried in destroyed homes. At least two children were listed among the dead.

The heavy rain and flooding is also hitting the nearby states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.

Rainfall in the region has been the heaviest since records were first kept 110 years ago, the National Institute of Meteorology said. In one 24-hour period, the Minas Gerais state capital Belo Horizonte recorded 172 millimeters (almost seven inches) of rain.

Forecasters said the rain is expected to taper off on Sunday, but authorities warn that the danger of landslides remains high, especially in the Belo Horizonte area.