Exuberant joy alongside a mood of catastrophe in Brazil: while in Rio the best samba schools performed enthusiastically at the world-famous parades in the sambodrome, São Paulo mourned the deaths of at least 36 people, which were caused by flooding and landslides on the carnival weekend. In São Sebastião alone in the southeast of the country, 35 people died. Another death was reported from Ubatuba.
More than 500 rescue workers were deployed, as the government of the state of São Paulo announced on Monday. Among other things, they searched for other missing victims with the help of helicopters. Heavy rains had caused flooding and landslides along the state's Atlantic coast since Saturday. Governor Tarcísio de Freitas declared a state of emergency in São Sebastião and other affected communities. Some cities canceled annual carnival celebrations.
According to the information, more than 1,700 people left or lost their homes, and some roads were blocked. According to media reports, children were also among the dead. There was particularly heavy rainfall in the affected region. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced on Twitter that he would visit the areas on Monday.
Baby and pregnant woman saved
In the midst of the sad events, there were also "two miracles", the government of São Paulo tweeted. A trapped two-year-old child and a pregnant woman in labor and her baby were rescued.
According to the police, several people died in an incident on the sidelines of the carnival celebrations in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro. When a parade by the carnival group "Bloco das Piranhas" broke up around 11 p.m. on Sunday, there may have been a dispute, said the municipality of Magé, which is northeast of the city of Rio. A police officer was also involved. It said there were dead and injured. In a statement, the police spoke of a “tumult with people who were shot”. About 19 people were injured after two people reportedly fired shots. More detailed information was not initially available. The carnival celebrations in Magé have been suspended for the time being.
The Rio Carnival is known as the "biggest party in the world". After it had not been celebrated at all or only with restrictions in the past two years due to the corona pandemic, the celebrations came back this year in all their facets.
The samba schools "Império Serrano" and "Grande Rio" paid tribute to samba composers and musicians in the sambodrome on Sunday evening (local time), the "Unidos da Tijuca" created a historical special effect when the lights went out for the first time during a parade and only the first car stayed lit. The carnival groups called "blocos" have always formed a parallel carnival to the strictly regulated parades in the sambodrome, in which a jury awards marks.