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Adverse Weather in South America

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As if Australia wasn't bad enough, now areas in and around Rio De Janeiro have been hit by devastation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_maxdUDy24

Many people have died in south-eastern Brazil after days of torrential rain caused flooding and landslides. The area around Rio de Janeiro has seen more rain in 24 hours than is normal for the whole month. The town of Teresopolis, some 100km north of the city has been worst hit, with almost 50 people killed in landslides.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12177895

Torrential rain in Brazil has sent tons of red mud and torrents of water rushing down mountainsides in towns outside Rio de Janeiro, enveloping homes of rich and poor alike and killing at least 257 people in 24 hours. Some survivors clung to trees to escape the water and landslides. Rescuers used heavy machinery, shovels and bare hands to dig through debris in a search for survivors on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how many people were rescued. At least 50 remained missing, and officials feared that figure would rise. In Teresopolis, a town 40 miles north of Rio, the rain overflowed creeks and flash floods swept over already water-logged mountainsides. Brick and wooden shacks built on hillsides stripped of trees, washed away in surging earth and water, leaving behind only a long trail of rusty red mud.

Heavy rains and mudslides kill hundreds of people across Brazil each year. Especially punished are the poor, whose rickety homes are often built on steep inclines with little in the way of foundations. At least 130 people died in Teresopolis, the local civil defence agency said. The mountains saw 10 inches of rain fall in less than 24 hours. Floodwaters continued to gush down the mountains on Wednesday, though the rainstorm had ended. Survivors waded through waist-high water, carrying what belongings they could, trying to reach higher ground. Many tried desperately to find relatives, though phone service was out in the region and many people were still missing hours after the rain stopped.

President Dilma Rousseff has signed a measure sending 461 million dollars (£292 million) to towns in Rio and Sao Paulo states that were damaged during the recent rains. The money will go to repairing infrastructure and preventing future disasters. The President plans to fly over the most severely damaged parts of Rio.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5izVTQUj7vqPB7RohJTIRiTh0vuzg?docId=N0123461294877665839A

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The mountains saw 10 inches (26 centimeters) of rain fall in less than 24 hours. Floodwaters continued to gush down the mountains for hours after rainstorms ended Wednesday. Survivors waded through waist-high water, carrying what belongings they could, trying to reach higher ground. Many tried desperately to find relatives, though phone service was out in the region and many people were still missing hours after the rain stopped.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/01/12/torrential-rain-floods-rio-leave-dead/#ixzz1AuAx8PFL

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More effects of the rain and mudslides, this one is eclipsing Australia in terms of the terrible loss of life.

At least 464 people have been killed after walls of earth and water swept away homes in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. More than 50 people were missing in three Rio state towns after slides hit the region early on Wednesday. A further 34 people have already died in floods and slides since Christmas in the south-east of the country. Rio state's civil defence department said on its website that 222 people were killed in Teresopolis, 214 in nearby Nova Friburgo and 40 in neighbouring Petropolis. It said about 14,000 people had been driven from their homes.

Officials said the area hit by slides had seen 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. More rain, possibly heavy at times, is forecast for over the weekend. President Dilma Rousseff flew by helicopter over the region. The nation's health ministry said it was sending seven tons of medication to the area, enough to treat 45,000 people for a month. Survivors across the region were seen wading through waist-high water, carrying what belongings they could, trying to reach higher ground. Many tried desperately to find relatives, though phone services were devastated and many people were still missing hours after the rain stopped.

Jorge Mario Sedlacek, the mayor of Teresopolis, decreed a state of emergency, calling the disaster "the worst to hit the town". About 800 search-and-rescue workers from the state's civil defence department and firefighters were digging for survivors, but hopes were dimming.

Deadly flooding and slides have hit neighbouring states in recent days as well. Heavy rainfall caused havoc in Minas Gerais state north of Rio, where 16 people died in the past month and dozens of communities are in a state of emergency. In Sao Paulo, flooding paralysed main thoroughfares in the city and 21 people died in collapsed homes, mudslides and flooding throughout the state.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iQ3N1ahFxWHK1MIKrEEePfEfqOaQ?docId=N0144511294942050475A

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Severe Flooding in Santa Catarina, Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ten towns in the state of Santa Catarina in the South of Brazil are in an official state of emergency and a further 25 are on high alert, following several days of heavy rain and flooding. The situation looks likely to get worse, with more rain forecast for the coming days.............http://riotimesonlin...-brazil-daily/#

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Deadly Mudslides Hit Guatemala Day After Quake

Mudslides in Guatemala killed one person and left 12 missing on Tuesday, a day after a series of earthquakes hit another region in the impoverished Central American nation, officials said.......http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Deadly_mudslides_hit_Guatemala_day_after_quake_999.html

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According to Wiki snow fell in the Atacama this year.

"Noteworthily, an extreme Antarctic cold front broke through the rain shadow bringing 80 cm (31.5 in) of snow to the plateau in July 2011, stranding residents across the region, particularly in Bolivia where many drivers became stuck in snow drifts and emergency crews became overtaxed with a large number of rescue calls.[12] The total rainfall for the summer of 2011 was sufficient for wildflowers to bloom in the Atacama. [13"

Anyone know how to find a synoptic chart for that event?

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No chart but some more info. and it was caused by a cold front.

Ordinarily, the flashes of white in South America’s Atacama Desert rise from salt pans. But on July 7, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired these images, much of the white came from a far rarer commodity: snow.

Starting on July 3 and lasting several days, a cold front dumped up to 80 centimeters of snow (32 inches) on parts of the driest desert in the world, reported BBC News.

The images below show the largest snowfall the region has witnessed in a half-century. The bottom image provides a photo-like, natural color view of the snow. A few clouds hang over the desert, marring the view slightly. The top image, which includes both visible and infrared light, helps distinguish between snow and clouds. Snow is dark red, while clouds are lighter shades of orange and white.

How rare was the heavy snow? Parts of the Atacama Desert receive just 1 to 3 millimeters of precipitation per year (the local average is 50 mm, or 2 inches). This storm should skew the averages for some time.

Along with the snowfall, the winter storm also brought temperatures of -8.5C (17.6F) to Santiago, Chile. Parts of Uruguay and Argentina also coped with freezing temperatures. Several major copper mines were shuttered and overland transportation was snarled due to the snow, heavy rains, and flooding, according to news reports. More than 5,000 people had to abandon their homes in northern Chile, as many roofs in the desert region are not designed to withstand rain.

NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek and Mike Carlowicz.

Atacama_tmo_2011188_367.jpgAtacama_tmo_2011188.jpg

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