05/05/2024  Rains in southern Brazil kill at least 39, some 70 still missing


Heavy rains battering Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul have killed 39 people, local authorities said on Friday, and the death toll is expected to rise as dozens still have not been accounted for.
Rio Grande do Sul's civil defense authority said 68 people were still missing and at least 24,000 had been displaced as the storms affected more than half of the 497 cities in the state, which borders Uruguay and Argentina.
In several towns, streets essentially turned into rivers, with roads and bridges destroyed. The storm also triggered landslides and the partial collapse of a dam structure at a small hydroelectric power plant.
A second dam in the city of Bento Goncalves is also at risk of collapsing, authorities said, ordering people who live nearby to evacuate.