After torrential rains that sparked historic flooding in southern Brazil, the country expects a swing to severe drought in parts, the environment minister said Wednesday.

Brazil has been battered by a series of extreme weather events, most recently once-in-a-century flooding in the state of Rio Grande do Sul that left 172 people dead.

Environmental Minister Marina Silva said the flooding was due to a mash-up of natural phenomena such as El Niño and climate change, a double-whammy also seen elsewhere.