SAO SEBASTIAO, Brazil: President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday (Feb 20) visited areas hit by devastating rainfall in southeastern Brazil because the dying toll from flooding that has to this point claimed 36 lives was anticipated to climb additional as dozens remained lacking.
Lula flew over the coastal city of Sao Sebastiao alongside cupboard ministers earlier than assembly with native officers, who confirmed some 40 folks have been nonetheless lacking whereas others remained stranded with roads blocked by landslides.
The devastating rains in coastal Sao Paulo state got here amid Brazil’s Carnival vacation interval, when hundreds often journey to spend their break on the area’s seashores, probably aggravating the end result of the pure catastrophe.
In keeping with the Sao Paulo state authorities, Sao Sebastiao was the epicenter of flooding as 35 deaths have been reported there, however heavy rainfall additionally affected close by cities equivalent to Ilhabela, Caraguatatuba and Ubatuba, the place one casualty was reported.
Greater than 1,700 folks had been pressured from their properties, the federal government added, whereas Governor Tarcisio de Freitas stated earlier within the day that not less than 40 folks have been nonetheless lacking. He declared three days of mourning within the state and a 180-day state of calamity for six cities after the catastrophe.
Freitas met with Lula on Monday to coordinate their response to the tragedy, with a information convention anticipated to observe.
The coastal floods have been the newest in a collection of such disasters to strike Brazil, the place shoddy building, typically on hillsides, has tended to have tragic penalties throughout the nation’s wet season.
In February 2022, greater than 200 folks have been killed by mudslides and floods within the colonial-era metropolis of Petropolis close to Rio de Janeiro, whereas the states of Bahia and Santa Catarina additionally suffered from pure disasters lately.