Residents in southern Brazil are grappling with the unprecedented aftermath of flooding and river overflow, marking the worst natural disaster ever recorded in Rio Grande do Sul, officials confirm. The toll is staggering: at least 95 fatalities, over 130 missing persons, and a staggering 1.4 million people affected. The region faces dire shortages of drinking water as aid efforts struggle to keep pace.

Relentless rainfall has turned rivers into torrents, engulfing entire communities. Even Porto Alegre, the capital with a population of 1.3 million, finds itself virtually isolated amid the deluge. The majority of its residents lack access to running water as vital treatment plants falter under the strain.

Suzan, a resident of Porto Alegre, expressed disbelief, saying, “There are thousands of people who lost their houses. Now we don’t have water anywhere.” She shared the harrowing ordeal of her 90-year-old mother-in-law, carried to safety by rescuers.

City officials are rationing drinking water, resorting to distributing it via tanker trucks. Yet, relief efforts are hindered by criminal elements, with reports of gangs stealing rescue boats and looting properties. Authorities have urgently appealed for citizens to offer any available boats to aid in the ongoing rescue operations, as thousands remain stranded in inundated neighborhoods.

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