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SHAKE AND BLOW
At least 44 dead in Brazil's flooding and landslides
by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) Dec 26, 2013


Brazil leader breaks holidays to tour flood-hit areas
Brasīlia (AFP) Dec 27, 2013 - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff interrupted her year-end holidays Friday to tour flood-hit areas of the country's southeast where 40 people have died following torrential rains.

After two weeks of heavy downpours which have triggered deadly landslides, the weather is beginning to improve across much of southeastern Brazil.

Tens of thousands of people spent Christmas without drinking water, power or communications while food shortages were reported.

Accompanied by Health Minister Alexandre Padilha, Rousseff flew over the Governador Valadares region of Minas Gerais where torrential rains have left people dead and forced 9,500 to leave their homes.

Civil Defense officials said two children aged 3 and 11 died Sunday buried under mud slides that swept away their home in Governador Valadares, where rivers overflowed their banks, causing extensive flooding.

In neighboring Espirito Santo which has been hit by the worst rains in 90 years and which Rousseff toured on Tuesday, the official death toll was revised downward from 27 to 23.

Two persons are still reported missing and presumed to be buried under the mud.

A total of 52 cities in Espirito Santo have been hit by flooding and 61,000 people have been evacuated.

The Brazilian Air Force said its helicopters rescued 162 elderly and sick people as well as women and children. It also delivered eight tons of food, medicines and drinking water to the state.

The federal government meanwhile authorized the allocation of nearly $3 million to fund rescue operations, assistance to the victims and restoration of essential services in Espirito Santo.

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 Thursday.

In Espirito Santo state, Civil Defense officials reported a total of 27 fatalities, including eight 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 neighboring 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.

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.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Brazil leader overflies flood-hit region
Brasilia (AFP) Dec 24, 2013
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday flew over the flood-hit southeastern state of Espirito Santo, where at least 14 people have died in days of torrential rain. A Civil Defense statement raised the death toll from 12 to 14 and said nearly 50,000 people were forced to leave their homes, up from the 46,000 reported earlier. It said 47 cities in Espirito Santo, which borders Rio d ... read more


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