By Lucy Jordan, Senior Contributing Reporter

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – A man of 37 has been killed in Rio de Janeiro as a result of heavy rain and wind, when a tree fell on the van he was driving on Rua Marechal Floriano, in the Centro, Folha reported. COMLUB, the municipal cleaning company, said in a statement that 99 trees had fallen during the storm Monday morning.

Strong winds, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The strong winds that hit Rio de Janeiro Monday have killed a man and left several neighborhoods without power, photo by Tanya Rego/ABr.

Most of the trees, 59, fell in the Zona Sul (South Zone), while thirty fell in the North and ten in the West of the city. The storm also caused power outages in at least fifteen neighborhoods, causing at least 53 schools and kindergartens to close for the day, while nine were partially-shut. State-wide, six colleges also closed.

Electricity distributor Light said that power had been returned to some districts, but that 16 neighborhoods remained without power, including parts of Campo Grande, Barra da Tijuca, Leblon, Gávea and Botafogo,

“Technicians continue working without interruption in these localities to fully restore power as quickly as possible. Restoring the electricity supply requires a complex operation of isolating the affected area, removing of objects on the wiring and rebuilding the power grid,” said the company, according to Agencia Brasil.

A cold front reached Rio at around 5:40 AM Monday, causing wind gusts of up to 100 km/h, in Santa Cruz, western Rio, according to Inmet (National Institute of Meteorology).

“The winds are more intense in the West region because it is further south, near the Bay of Sepetiba,” meteorologist Marlene Leal of Inmet Folha. “This cold front, that came from the South, is fleeting and should leave Rio de Janeiro by the end of the day [Monday]. It will move to Espirito Santo,” she added.

Severe heavy rains and wind this time of year is not uncommon, in late March rains and mudslides left 28 dead in Petrópolis. Last year floods killed five in Teresópolis, which was the worst the state had seen since the disaster of January 2011, which devastated the region and left over 900 people dead and missing.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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