Death toll from rains in Brazil rises to 127
Recife, Brazil, June 2 (EFE).- The death toll from heavy rains in Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco has risen to 127, officials said on Thursday.
The Pernambuco Civil Defense said rescuers continued to search for a missing person after flooding and landslides last week left a trail of death and destruction in the affected areas.
It said searchers found three bodies in the regional capital of Recife over the past day.
The majority of the deaths were in the Recife metropolitan, the worst affected region.
The heavy downpour caused rivers to overflow and triggered landslides that washed away several residential houses and buildings.
The flooding forced more than 9,300 out of their homes for shelter in makeshift camps.
Authorities have declared an emergency in parts of Pernambuco.
President Jair Bolsonaro Monday flew over the affected areas to assess the situation.
He said the government had made funds earmarked for emergencies and natural disasters accessible to municipalities that have declared emergency.
Recife Mayor Joao Campos last week called the situation “extremely challenging,” noting that the weather phenomenon “is completely atypical” at this time of year.
“It is the biggest disaster in the last 50 years to have hit the Recife metropolitan region,” Campos said.
Brazil has recently experienced similar disasters that saw thousands fleeing their homes and hundreds dead.
The states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, which together account for more than 40 percent of Brazil’s population, have been the worst affected by the heavy rains since last October.
Some 240 people died due to an intense storm that hit the city of Petrópolis in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro in February. EFE