(CNN) — At least 29 people have been killed and a further 60 are missing as heavy rain and flooding hit the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul this week.

The local government has declared a state of calamity in areas where more than 67,000 people in nearly 150 municipalities are impacted. Almost 10,000 have been displaced and more than 4,500 are in temporary shelters, the civil defense said.

Authorities are closely monitoring dams that are not designed to handle such a high volume of water but said there is no imminent risk of failure.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with local officials overseeing the relief efforts Thursday.

“We are witnessing a historic disaster, unfortunately,” said the state’s governor, Eduardo Leite. “The material losses are gigantic, but our focus at this moment is rescues. There are still people waiting for help.”

Images showed muddy brown waters rising as high as rooftops in some areas, while rescue teams were out with inflatable rafts, taking people and pets on board.

Rio Grande do Sul has been increasingly hit by extreme weather events in recent years. More than 30 people died in the state in September after heavy rains.

The climate crisis, caused primarily by humans burning fossil fuels, is supercharging extreme weather around the world, making many events more intense and more frequent.

In the past few weeks alone, record rainfall has triggered deadly floods and brought chaos to the desert city of Dubai; reservoirs across Southeast Asia have been drying up in a persistent regional heatwave and ongoing drought, while Kenya is battling floods and heavy rainfall that has burst river banks and killed nearly 200 people.

Last year was the hottest on record, with air and ocean temperatures climbing beyond many scientists’ predictions. The world is already 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in pre-industrial times.

The proportion of high-intensity hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, has increased due to the warmer global temperatures, according to the UN. Heat waves are becoming more frequent and are lasting longer.

Scientists have also found that the storms are more likely to stall and lead to devastating rainfall and they last longer after making landfall.

(Copyright (c) 2024 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox