Rio homeless bravely face unprecedented cold Reuters

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© Reuters. Marco Antonio, a 21-year-old homeless, is portrayed as the NGO doAcao distributing food and blankets to the homeless in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 29, 2021, when an extraordinary cold broke out. REUTERS/Lucas Landau

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(Correct the name in paragraph 4 to Lemos instead of Memos)

Rio de Janeiro (Reuters)-When an unusual cold current shocked the residents of Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian city known for its sun, sand and sea, the homeless in the city have been struggling to sleep in the cold.

The homeless Flavio said: “The weather is very cold. Even with two blankets and a quilt, I still felt terrible last night.”

This week, a polar air mass has been moving towards the central and southern regions of the country, bringing strong winds and rare snowfall to communities unfamiliar with low temperatures and street residents who cannot cope with the low temperatures.

In Rio, as part of a project they started a year and a half ago, Jeniffer Faria da Silva and Marlon Lemos Mollulo have been distributing warm food, blankets, clothes, shoes and bread to the city’s street residents. Walking through the city at night, they have been placing insulation linings on the concrete. Dozens of homeless people in the city slept side by side to keep warm.

“There is a lot of suffering, especially in Rio. We are not used to this temperature. We don’t have the proper infrastructure to deal with the cold, and some of them have pets,” Silva said.

The polar air masses will bring freezing temperatures to the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, which are the main producers of major commodities such as sugar, citrus and coffee.

The temperature in Rio is expected to drop to an abnormally low of 9°C on Friday, and then gradually begin to warm up in August.

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