Brazil: 600 missing in floods

2010-06-23 20:14
An aerial view of a flooded area of flooding in Santana do Mundau, Brazil. (Antonio Cruz, AP)

An aerial view of a flooded area of flooding in Santana do Mundau, Brazil. (Antonio Cruz, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian rescuers searched on Wednesday for 600 people declared missing after heavy rains caused torrential flooding in two states. The death toll rose to 44 after three bodies were found overnight.

The Civil Defence department of Alagoas state said rains had subsided, giving soldiers and other rescuers the chance to reach some of the isolated towns by boat and helicopter. Heavy machinery was used to remove destroyed homes, while search dogs scoured areas where survivors or more bodies might be found.

A fire department spokesperson in Maceio, the capital of Alagoas, said the search for the missing began at dawn, but there was no report of survivors found. She spoke on condition of anonymity, per department rules.

On Tuesday, Civil Defence officials said they believed most of the missing were safe - just unable to notify family members and others of their status because there was no electricity and phones were knocked out.

'Like a tsunami'

Massive storms dumped a month's worth of water on parts of Alagoas and neighbouring Pernambuco state last week. Some small towns were nearly destroyed by the flooding and local officials said it looked like a tsunami had hit.

In the city of Uniao dos Palmares, where 500 people are reported missing, shop owners dug mud out of the few buildings that survived.

"We've been through other floods, but we've never had anything even close to this," Maria Rodrigues, who owns a butcher shop, told the O Jornal newspaper as she surveyed a thick layer of mud and debris in her store.

At least 120 000 people in Alagoas and Pernambuco were driven from their homes by the rains, but many found shelter in schools, churches or with family members.

The federal government announced it was sending $56m in food, medicine and other aid, and Air Force planes had already delivered about 10 tons of supplies to some of the worst-hit areas, officials said.

But residents said little aid had yet reached Uniao dos Palmares.

"We're going hungry," housewife Deise de Andrade told O Jornal. "Yesterday we had to pick food out of the mud to give it to my sons. We're eating mud."

The Civil Defence said in a statement that 29 deaths had been reported so far in Alagoas, while 15 were reported dead in Pernambuco.

In May 2009, flooding in the same areas killed at least 44 people and displaced 380 000.

- AP
Read more on:    brazil  |  floods
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.