Bolsonaro visits Pernambuco after deadly rains

Bolsonaro visits Pernambuco
Bolsonaro flying over Pernambuco. Photo: Clauber Cleber Caetano/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro flew over the metropolitan region of Recife in Pernambuco on Monday morning, which has been hit by destructive rains and landslides. At least 93 people have been reported dead so far, with 26 still missing.

“Unfortunately, these catastrophes happen, a continental country has its problems,” Mr. Bolsonaro said, citing similar disasters which hit the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro earlier this year. Mr. Bolsonaro used the opportunity to criticize the left-leaning Pernambuco state governor, Paulo Câmara.

Scientists link the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as these rains to climate change.

The Bolsonaro government has announced a series of measures to help those affected by the rains in Pernambuco, including interest-free credit for beneficiaries of the BPC benefit for low-income elderly people and people with a disability (which guarantees them a minimum wage per month). The government plans to decree a state of calamity in Pernambuco by the end of today, which would free up emergency resources for the state.