President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the Brazilian government and people following the death of hundreds of people in floods and mudslides in southeastern Brazil this week.
“I have learnt with considerable distress of the mudslide disaster, which has been triggered by heavy rains in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where more than 350 Brazilians perished,” Zuma said in a message to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff today.
“It is with great sadness and profound sorrow that we have learnt of the widespread devastation caused by heavy floods.
“On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I wish to extend our condolences to the government and the people of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The people of South Africa share the pain and loss of the loved ones, their homes and property and our thoughts and prayers go to the affected families.
“The South African government wishes the rescue and recovery teams, who have also suffered losses whilst deployed in these areas, every success in their efforts.”
Mudslides triggered by torrential rains this week devastated towns and wiped out whole families in areas north of Rio de Janeiro. The most recent news reports have put the death toll at near 500.