Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brazil floods leave 45 dead, 378,000 homeless

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Severe flooding over the last month brought on by torrential rains has killed 45 people across northern Brazil and forced some 378,000 others to evacuate their homes, mainly to emergency shelters, officials said Tuesday. The National Civil Defense Secretariat said deaths have occurred in eight out of the 11 states severely affected by the flooding, including Ceara with 15 deaths, 10 in Maranhao and seven in Bahia in the perennially drought-stricken northeast; and eight deaths in the northern state of Amazonas.

Over one million people in some 407 municipalities have been affected, including several areas placed under a state of emergency, with flooding on roadways leaving many towns and cities cut off from the outside world. An initial government estimate put the damage at nearly 500 million dollars. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has visited inundated areas and met with flood victims and local authorities, promising government aid....

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