At least 40 dead, 100,000 homeless in Brazil flooding

At least 40 dead, 100,000 homeless in Brazil flooding
# 22 June 2010 19:17 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was meeting Tuesday morning with his emergency Cabinet as flooding in two northeastern states killed at least 40 people and left more than 100,000 homeless, the Agencia Brasil state news agency and civil defense officials reported, APA reports quoting website.

In Pernambuco state, 53 cities have declared a state of emergency, the nation’s civil defense agency said. Thirteen people are dead and more than 42,000 are homeless there, the agency said.

In Alagoas state, 22 cities have declared an emergency. At least 27 people are dead, said Denildson Queiroz, the civil defense secretary in Alagoas. More than 58,000 residents are homeless, the national civil defense said.

More than 1,000 people have been reported missing in Alagoas. About 500 people were unaccounted for in the town of Uniao dos Palmares, a state spokesman said Monday.
Gallery: Brazilian floods

Defense Minister Nelson Jobim was traveling to Alagoas and Pernambuco to see the emergency measures that have been taken, Agencia Brasil said. Those measures include the construction of field hospitals.

Aid workers will provide shelters, food water and power, while health officials will offer medicine and treatment at hospitals.

Pernambuco Governor Eduardo Campos -- who flew over the affected areas Monday -- described the situation as "heart-breaking."

"What we have seen since Friday is more than a horror-film," Campos said in a statement.

Alagoas Governor Teotonio Vilela Filho traveled through several affected areas Monday to try to reassure residents.

"I ask you all to remain calm because we are all invested in helping you," he said.

Both governors also met with Lula, who promised to facilitate emergency funds to help victims.

Alagoas weather officials forecast more rain for Tuesday.

Brazil’s Center for Climatic Studies predicted rain above average in the northeast for autumn, which has come to an end. Brazil’s winter officially began June 21.