NewsLatin AmericaBrazil: rains leave 36 dead; cities cancel carnival

Brazil: rains leave 36 dead; cities cancel carnival

Heavy rains caused flooding and landslides that have killed 36 people in the southeastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, authorities said Sunday. The death toll is expected to rise.

The Sao Paulo state government said in a statement that 35 people were killed in the city of Sao Sebastiao and a 7-year-old girl was killed in neighboring Ubatuba.

The cities of Sao Sebastiao, Ubatuba, Ilhabela and Bertioga, some of the most affected and under a state of disaster, canceled their Carnival parties as rescue teams struggled to find the missing, injured and possibly dead among the rubble.

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“Our rescue teams cannot reach several places; it is a chaotic situation,” said Felipe Augusto, mayor of Sao Sebastiao. Later, he added that dozens are missing and 50 houses collapsed in the city due to avalanches.

Augusto posted several videos of the widespread destruction in his city on social media, including one of a baby being rescued by residents lined up on a flooded street.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva tweeted that he would visit the region on Monday.

The Sao Paulo state government reported in a statement that rainfall in the region has exceeded 60 centimeters in one day, one of the highest amounts ever recorded in Brazil in such a short period.

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Only in Bertioga were 68 centimeters measured, according to the state government.

Governor Tarcisio de Freitas declared that he had asked the army for help, which sent two planes and rescue teams to the region.

Television images showed flooded houses with only the roof visible. Residents are using small boats to transport objects and people to higher positions. A highway linking Rio de Janeiro to the port city of Santos was blocked by mudslides and floodwaters.

The coast of the state of Sao Paulo is a frequent Carnival destination for wealthy tourists who prefer to stay away from the massive street parties of Brazil’s big cities.

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Source: VOA Español


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