Brazil: flood toll rises to 20 dead, 63,000 displaced

Floods caused by heavy rains in Bahia state have killed two more people, bringing the region’s death toll to 20 since early November, with nearly 63,000 people displaced, local officials said on Monday.

Floods caused by heavy rains in the state of Bahia (northeastern Brazil) have left two more dead, bringing the number of deaths since early November in the region to 20, with nearly 63,000 people displaced, according to the authorities. local Monday. « We are living through the biggest disaster in Bahia’s history, » said Bahia Governor Rui Costa, who since Saturday has been overseeing a joint operation in the affected areas with the federal government and other states.

Two new deaths were recorded in the town of Itabuna. A 21-year-old man was swept away by the current and a 33-year-old woman was killed in a landslide, according to the latest local government report on Monday afternoon. « The water is starting to decline at the source of the Cachoeira River and, although slowly, it is expected to improve in the days to come, » Governor Costa said. Houses were under water and streets turned into rivers in several municipalities in the south of the state, affected since Thursday by heavy rainfall that caused dams to burst and rivers overflowed over the weekend.

The number of displaced has almost doubled since Sunday

In Itapetinga, AFP aerial footage shows three men paddling face down on a straw mattress in a street surrounded by houses with water reaching their windows. The number of displaced people has almost doubled since Sunday with 62,796 people having to leave their homes according to the Civil Protection of Bahia (Sudec). In addition, 358 people have been injured since the onset of heavy rains in November. In total, it is estimated that 116 municipalities, including at least 100 in an emergency situation, and 471,009 people are affected by these rains. « There is a correlation » between the intensity of the rains in the northeast of the country and the La Niña phenomenon, which causes more than normal precipitation, estimated Estael Sias, metSul meteorologist. The equivalent of a month of water fell in some municipalities, notably in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, which on Friday received up to five times the historical average of 58 mm for the month of December, according to the city’s civil defense.

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