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Up to 62.3 degrees Celsius felt in Rio, a record

Photo: Tercio Teixeira Agence France-Presse The beaches of Rio de Janeiro were packed with people on Sunday.

France Media Agency in Rio de Janeiro


  • Americas

The heat wave that has affected South America since the start of the year caused the temperature felt to rise this weekend to a record level of 62.3°C in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, while rain threatens in the south of the country.

“Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Hydrate! », warned Rio's municipal alert system on a record since this type of measurement began in 2014.

The western area of ​​Rio is made up of poor, outlying and underserved neighborhoods, where more than 40% of the population of this city of more than six million inhabitants lives.

With a maximum real temperature of 42°C, on Sunday, the felt temperature rose to the highest even in the residential area of ​​the Botanical Garden, in the south of Rio, privileged with its numerous vegetation and where the felt temperature rose to 57.7°C on Sunday.

“We are trying to protect ourselves, to go to a more open place, with the sea, but we have to do something,” Rio resident Raquel Correia, 49, told AFP in a park in the center .

“I am very afraid that it will get worse, because the population is increasing a lot and deforestation is very high due to the increase in housing,” she added.< /p>

Iconic of Rio, the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana were packed with people on Sunday. Many have also found refuge in Tijuca Park, a veritable green lung in the city.

In Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America with double the population of Rio, more than 12 million, Saturday was the hottest day of the year with the mercury rising rose to 34.7°C.

This is the highest temperature for a month of March since the Brazilian National Meteorological Institute (Inmet) began measuring it in 1943.

Sunday brought barely perceptible relief: the thermometer fell back to 34.3 ºC, the same level as the previous record for a month of March recorded in 2012.

Here again, the parks of Brazil's most populous metropolis were full. Many also set out to attack the coast, causing huge traffic jams at the city gates, to the point of forming a line of 20 kilometers of cars, according to local media.

“Before we didn't have such heat, it has changed a lot for some time,” Vanuza Maria Estevan, a 40-year-old resident, complained to AFP.

Floods in the south

In the south of Brazil, on the contrary, it is rain that threatens. Extreme rainfall is expected to continue this week, authorities warned.

“The week will be at high risk of heavy rain and thunderstorms in south-central Brazil,” weather information agency MetSul warned on Sunday. “The most concerning system is a very intense cold front that will arrive with torrential rain and possible gales,” she added.

Some localities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul are recording “exceptionally high” rainfall volumes. In Uruguaiana, the worst-hit city in the state, images were broadcast of flooded streets and buses half in water.

Up to 500 millimeters of water could fall, according to MetSul, as in February the state of Rio Grande do Sul was suffocating with heat due to an “extreme heat dome” from Argentina.< /p>

Experts attribute these extreme phenomena and meteorological instability to climate change and the El Niño phenomenon which affects the southern cone of Latin America, in the middle of summer, causing forest fires in Chile.

The current climate has already warmed by around 1.2°C compared to 1850-1900, causing an increase in droughts, floods and heat waves.< /p>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116