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Latino Daily News

Tuesday March 12, 2013

Storm in Brazil Kills Two, Damages City of Sao Paulo

Storm in Brazil Kills Two, Damages City of Sao Paulo

Photo: Storm in Brazil Kills Two, Damages City of Sao Paulo

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A heavy storm that began Saturday afternoon killed two people and caused landslides, flooding and traffic jams in Sao Paulo, the authorities in Brazil’s largest city reported Sunday.

A 14-year-old girl was swept away by the current as runoff washed along Rua Vergueiro, which links the central Avenida Paulista with the southern part of the city, and a 32-year-old man who tried to help her was also swept away by the floodwaters, the Civil Defense authorities said.

The bodies of the pair, who drowned, were recovered Sunday morning by local firefighters in the Liberdade neighborhood some distance from where the victims were last seen.

The Military Police reported that several people required aid from Civil Defense, the Fire Department and police along the heavily traveled street.

The Traffic Engineering Company, or CET, said that 132 stoplights were damaged and 15 trees fell over, some of them crushing nearby cars.

Several of the city’s tunnels were closed by authorities as a precaution and the roof of the food court area in the Shopping Continental mall in the Jaguare district collapsed without injuring anyone. Meanwhile, 16 neighborhoods lost their electrical service.

The Congonhas airport, the city’s second largest and with a substantial number of domestic flights, was closed for almost an hour on Saturday evening and official alerts were declared in 38 zones in the metropolitan area.

On Friday, a similar electrical storm in Sao Paulo caused 265 kilometers (164 miles) of traffic jams, the fourth-largest such problem in the city’s history, the CET said.

A large number of automobiles were swept away by floodwaters in different spots around the city and along Avenida Paulista, which is the financial heart of Sao Paulo, buildings and businesses were without power for several hours.

The weather report says that over the next few days the city will experience high temperatures, with sunshine in the morning and thunderstorms in the afternoon.