At least 44 dead in Brazil's flooding and landslides
At least 44 people have died and more than 60,000 have been left homeless following torrential rain in southeast Brazil over the past few weeks, officials said on Thursday.
In Espirito Santo state, civil defence officials reported a total of 27 fatalities, including eight on Thursday, in what they described as the worst rains in 90 years.
They said 61,379 people were forced to leave their homes.
"We are going to have to rebuild the state," said governor Renato Casagrande amid extensive flooding and damage to bridges and roads.
In neighbouring Minas Gerais state, where the downpours began in October and have worsened in the past few days, authorities reported 17 deaths and said 4,150 people were forced to evacuate their homes.
A 56-year-old woman died on Wednesday in a landslide that buried her house in Juiz de Fora, 278 kilometers (173 miles) from Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais.
Last week, a family of six, including a seven-year-old child, died when a mudslide swept away their home in Sardoa, in the eastern part of the state.
A total of 79 towns were affected across Minas Gerais and a state of alert was declared in in 26 of them.
On Tuesday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff flew over flood-hit areas of Espirito Santo and pledged federal aid to the victims.
In early December, a storm also left 16 people dead and flattened more than 200 houses in the city of Lajedinho in the northeastern state of Bahia.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- The world's poorest continent faces logistical and financial obstacles to securing all the vaccines it needs, but the WHO-led COVAX facility has begun to bear fruit.
- The National Safety Council estimates that 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8% increase over 2019 and the first jump in four years.
- The House of Representatives moved a planned vote from Thursday to Wednesday night to avoid being in session on March 4.