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Brazil

Brazil floods leave 39 people dead

Antônio Cruz, Agencia Brasil

Floods in northern Brazil have left at least 39 people dead, 1,000 unaccounted for and another 100,000 homeless, authorities said Monday.Civil defense officials in devastated Alagoas state said the Mundau River burst its banks in the town of Uniao dos Palmares after days of heavy rain, leaving at least 500 people unaccounted for.

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"We are praying for the missing to be found alive. But we are very worried because bodies are starting to turn up on beaches and on riverbanks," Alagoas Governor Teotonio Vilela Filho told reporters at a press briefing before meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday.

The floods swept away more than 40,000 houses, entire bridges and streets, as well as rail lines in 22 towns across Alagoas, Vilela said.

The Brazilian Air Force so far has sent in five helicopters.

 Lula has called a crisis cabinet meeting for Tuesday and said the government would make federal funds available to help the homeless. He met with local governors on Monday to work on details of the relief efforts.

 

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