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15 dead, 70,000 homeless in Brazil floods

File image courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) May 4, 2009
Severe flooding has hit Brazil's perennially drought-stricken northeast, killing 15 people and leaving 70,000 others homeless, authorities said Monday.

The states most affected by the flooding are Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Alagoas and Bahia.

Six people were killed and six major highways were inundated in Maranho, drenched by the heaviest rains since 1985, civil defense authorities said.

Sao Luis, the state capital, and 40 other towns have been battered by rains that have lasted nearly a month.

An estimated 48,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and of those 22,000 lost their homes, a civil defense spokesman said.

In the small state of Alagoas, four people were killed Friday in mudslides and flooding.

Deaths also were reported in Ceara, Bahia and Piaui.

In Piaui more than 30,000 were forced to leave their houses and take refuge in schools and gymnasiums.

The Piaui state governor, Wellington Dias, declared a state of emergence in 19 communities, and has also asked the army to help rescue people stranded by the flooding.

The Sao Francisco hydroelectric company said the Poty river was 14 meters (yards) over its normal level.

The torrential rains also affected the country's Amazon region.

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Death toll rises to 145 in southern African floods
Luanda (AFP) April 16, 2009
The death toll from deadly floods in southern Africa has risen to 145, aid workers and officials said Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of people affected by the high waters.

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