Torrential rainfall triggers landslides in southeast Brazil •

Torrential rainfall triggers landslides in southeast Brazil

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the coast of São Paulo in southeast Brazil, where heavy rainfall and flooding triggered deadly landslides.

The beach communities of Jaqueí and Praia da Baleia in São Sebastião were among the hardest hit areas. The São Paulo state government said that more than 23.6 inches of rain had fallen in a single day. 

Robert Emberson, a landslide expert with NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Disasters program, said that areas with very dense concentrations of landsliding are quite unusual but not unprecedented.

“South Brazil is a bit of a landslide hotspot at this time of year; high seasonal rainfall, combined with steep slopes, lead to characteristically high landslide hazards,” said Emberson. 

“This amount of rainfall will leave nearly all of the hillslopes saturated, destabilizing the soils and underlying bedrock. Unfortunately, these landslides have also impacted homes and infrastructure, leading to major loss of life.”

The image was captured on February 26, 2023 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/ Allison Nussbaum/ USGS

By Chrissy Sexton, Editor

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day