City streets overrun by flesh-eating piranhas after heavy flooding

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Fleshing-eating piranhas have been spotted swimming in the flooded streets of a Brazilian city.

Videos show piranhas swimming flood water in Porto Alegre in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, while others lie dead on dry land.

Many of the fish were seen in Lake Guaiba – a major body of water in the area which burst its banks – but several had also made their way into flood-hit streets.

Brazil has been hit by extremely heavy rain over the past few weeks, leaving around 150 people dead and half a million people displaced.

Speaking about the deadly fish, one expert said: ‘The presence of piranhas in Guaiba occurred due to the transposition of waters from the Uruguay and Jacuí rivers into the Guaiba lake.

‌’The fish had previously been detected in the lake, but now they have invaded the city’s flooded streets.’

‌According to fishermen, red piranhas had already been a cause for concern as they attack other fish, affecting the natural food chain and reducing fishermen’s potential catch.

A dead lies on a ledge in Porto Alegre (Picture: Media Drum Images/Jonathas Costa)
Piranhas swimming in flood water Porto Alegre (Picture: Media Drum Images/Jakelyne Loiola)
A dead yellow piranha in the city (Picture: Media Drum Images/Porto Alegre 24)

Red piranhas are not a naturally occurring species of Rio Grande do Sul, but their numbers have been increasing in the last three years.

‌Jonathas Costa posted a video of a dead piranha on a ledge with the caption: ‘Yes, we have dead piranhas in the central region of Porto Alegre, about 1km away from Guaiba.’

‌Jakelyne Loiola, a social media influencer from Brazil, also posted a video of the piranha swimming on the streets with the caption.

Flooded streets at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio Grande do Sul yesterday (Picture: Jefferson Bernardes/Getty Images)
A plane sits on a flooded runway at Porto Alegre Airport (Picture: Reuters)

She wrote: ‘The presence of these fish in the waters that flood the city’s streets is a result of the expansion of river basins in recent years.

‌’They were probably dragged to the city by the force of the rivers.

‌’According to biologists, they are carnivorous and can bite, but it is not fatal.’

In December, crocodiles were seen swimming down the streets of Queensland in Australia after heavy flooding.

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