"" Dam collapse in Brazil due to heavy rain.

Dam collapse in Brazil due to heavy rain.

After days of intense rain that caused severe flooding a hydroelectric dam in southern Brazil collapsed killing over thirty people.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul has another sixty missing persons according to officials.

Since Saturday about 15,000 people have left their houses. Throughout the state at least 500,000 people lack access to clean water and electricity.

The dam break resulted in a two-meter (6.6-foot) wave that damaged the previously flooded areas and prompted panic.

The dam divides the cities of Bento Gonçalves and Cotiporã municipality.

The harsh weather has been caused by a rare mix of above-average temperatures excessive humidity and strong winds.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised support from the federal government while he was in the region.

Earlier state governor Eduardo Leite declared We need to rescue hundreds of people in dozens of municipalities and begged for immediate aid.

Brazil heavy rain and flooding

Helicopters have been sent out to look for individuals who may be stuck.

In some areas residents have been forced to be lifted to safety by helicopters because of the severe floods.

As their homes filled with water residents of the Candelária municipality resorted to sleeping on their roofs.

More rain is expected in the area as a cold front passes through according to meteorologists.

A cyclone in Rio Grande do Sul last year claimed the lives of around thirty individuals.

The National Institute of Meteorology in Brazil attributed the increased intensity and frequency of rainfall to the El Niño climate phenomenon.

Rio Grande do Sul the southernmost state of Brazil has seen rains that have claimed 57 lives according to local authorities on Saturday afternoon. Dozens more remain missing.

Nearly two-thirds of the state's 497 cities were hit by storms causing more than 32,000 people to be relocated and 67 persons who were still missing according to the state's civil defence administration.

Roads, bridges, landslides and the partial collapse of a dam at a small hydroelectric power plant were all caused by flooding. According to officials a second dam in the city of Bento Gonçalves is also in danger of failing.

Streets in Porto Alegre the city of Rio Grande do Sul were inundated as the Guaíba lake overflowed its banks. The international airport in Porto Alegre has temporarily halted all operations.

According to the state meteorological office rain is predicted for the next 36 hours in the northern and northeastern parts of the state although the amount of precipitation has been decreasing and should be far less than the peak observed earlier in the week.

In a live video posted on social media on Saturday the state governor, Eduardo Leite stated that the water levels in the rivers should remain high for a few days though he did not specify how long.

Due to its location at the meeting point of the tropical and polar atmospheres, Rio Grande do Sul which shares borders with Uruguay and Argentina has periods of severe rain and drought. Scientists in the area think that the climate issue is to blame for the pattern's recent intensification.

In September of last year Rio Grande do Sul saw heavy rainfall leading to floods triggered by an extratropical cyclone that claimed over 50 lives. That followed over two years of an ongoing drought brought on by the La Niña phenomenon in which the area experienced few rainfall.

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