Severe flooding in Brazil spreads to Bahia and beyond
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A total of 116 cities in the Brazilian state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil, were in a state of emergency due to flooding on Tuesday due to heavy rains that have hit the region since the end of November.
BRASILIA, Brazil – A total of 116 cities in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil were in a state of emergency due to flooding on Tuesday due to heavy rains that have hit the region since late. November.
Cities in at least five other states in northern and southeastern Brazil have also been inundated in recent days.
In Bahia, the floods affected more than 400,000 people. In at least 50 cities, water flooded homes and businesses, and people were forced to abandon their belongings. Official state government data shows that 31,500 people were made homeless and another 31,000 were displaced. There have been a total of 20 dead and 358 people injured since the start of the month.
This is the most abundant period of rainfall for Bahia in the past 32 years, according to the website of the National Center for Natural Disaster Surveillance and Warning, a government agency. In southern Bahia, it rained more than five times the normal amount for this time of year.
In an interview with local radio stations on Tuesday morning, Bahia Governor Rui Costa compared the situation to a “bombing”. He also said coronavirus vaccines were lost in flooding in some cities.
“Some municipal health units and drug depots were completely underwater,” he said.
On Tuesday, the population of at least four municipalities in Bahia received warnings to leave their homes due to the increased flow of the Pardo River due to the opening of the gates at the Machado Mineiro dam in the neighboring state. of Minas Gerais, according to the opinion of the state government. Office.
Bahia Civil Defense Superintendent Col. Miguel Filho told The Associated Press that there were still flooded and isolated towns and the rains continued.
He added that at least five dams in Bahia are at risk of breaking. The state’s federal and state bridges and roads were destroyed and were provisionally rebuilt to allow food and other items to be delivered to those in need.
“We still don’t have a complete list of all the damage done, the amount of structures that will need to be replaced,” Governor Costa said. “It is not possible to stipulate a time frame for the recovery, because we don’t ‘I have that dimension. We guarantee the accessibility, the detour, the temporary structure so that people can come and go.
The federal government authorized emergency spending totaling 80 million reais ($ 14.2 million) for Bahia alone. Additional funds will be directed to other regions also affected by the rains in recent weeks, and which are still suffering the consequences.
In the state of Tocantins, which borders Bahia in the northern region of Brazil, 22 municipalities were affected by the rains in the early afternoon of Tuesday. The executive director of the state’s civil defense authority, Major Alex Matos, told the PA that number is expected to increase in the coming hours.
“We anticipate an increase in the volume of the Araguaia River, which will fill the Tocantins River even more,” he said.
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