Historic floods kill 80, leaving Brazil and its president angry, shaken

The airport is shut down. Dozens of highways have been blocked. Most in the state capital are without running water. And the death toll is already at 80 — and sure to climb higher.

Even in a country increasingly inured to natural disasters driven by climate change, the flooding that has slammed into Rio Grande do Sul, one of Brazil’s most prosperous states, has badly shaken this nation of 215 million. With more than half the cities in the state dealing with flooding, and 20,000 left homeless, Rio Grande do Sul hasn’t just been damaged. It has been crippled.

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