At least 10 people died and another 21 remain missing in southern Brazil due to intense rainfall that have affected the state of Rio Grande do Sul since last Monday, official sources reported this Wednesday, May 1.

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Rescue organizations have confirmed five new deaths this Wednesday and have added three people to the list of missing people that was the day before.

Until now, 4,465 people have had to leave their homes in 107 municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul due to rising river levels and flooding, according to the latest Civil Defense bulletin.

Regional authorities are focused on rescuing families that have been left isolated, especially in the region of the municipality of Candelária, located 200 kilometers west of Porto Alegre, and which is in critical condition.

Candelária, with eight missing, and the neighboring municipality of Encantado, with one deceased and six missing, are at the moment the towns hardest hit by the floods.

At least 69 roads in the region have total or partial blockages due to floodingfalling trees or landslides or the collapse of bridges.

Rio Grande do Sul has suffered three episodes of flooding and torrential rains since last September, caused by extratropical cyclones.

These meteorological phenomena, which are rare in the region and have been aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon, have caused more than 50 deaths and considerable material damage in recent months.

Weather forecasts predict that the rains will continue to be intense until Friday, with precipitation volumes that may reach 300 millimeters in some points.

It is expected that in the coming days the rains and the increase in river flow will put the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, the regional capital, on alert.

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