At least 22 people died in severe storms in southern Brazil. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul alone there were 21 deaths – more than ever before in a weather event, the governor of the southernmost region of the country, Eduardo Leite, told journalists. Another person died in the neighboring state of Santa Catarina.

The area had been hit by heavy rains and strong winds since Monday. Rivers burst their banks. Entire regions were flooded. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, the news portal G1 reported. 66 cities were affected by the storms.

In the small town of Mu├žum on the Taquari River, residents had to be rescued from roofs because of the flooding, as the portal further reported. Schools, shops and hospitals were also flooded. The power supply has been cut off for safety reasons. In June, 16 people died in storms in the region.