The dam which forms part of the 14 de Julho hydropower plant in Brazil has partially collapsed following days of heavy rain in the region.

The breached dam, located between Cotiporã municipality and Bento Gonçalves city, reportedly created a 2m wave, exacerbating the situation in already inundated areas. Meteorologists attribute the extreme weather phenomenon to an unusual amalgamation of soaring temperatures, elevated humidity levels, and fierce winds.

Over 15,000 residents have evacuated their homes since Saturday, with power and clean water infrastructure severely compromised.

CERAN – Companhia Energética Rio das Antas issued a statement, assuring that the partial dam rupture at the 14 de Julho Plant has not significantly altered the flow dynamics in the Taquari-Antas Basin. However, it said vigilance remains paramount, with the potential for escalated rainfall to exacerbate the situation. The company asked affected communities to adhere to Civil Defense directives and remain informed through official communication channels.

Following news of the incident, Eddie Rich, CEO of the International Hydropower Association, commented: “Our thoughts are with the families of those affected by the partial dam collapse of the 14 de Julho Power Plant in Brazil and the hardworking response teams working to support them. We are monitoring the impacts of the disaster caused by extreme weather conditions in the region. As temperatures rise and weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, investment in and maintenance of vital infrastructure will become more necessary.”