Death Toll in Brazilian Storms Rises to 46
    2010-06-25 08:37:47     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zheng Zhi
 

The number of dead in the storms which hit Brazil's Alagoas and Pernambuco states in the country's northeastern region has reached 46, local authorities informed on Thursday.

According to the Civil Defense services, 29 people died in the state of Alagoas and 17 others in Pernambuco. Over 180,000 were affected by the storms in the two states, and 154,000 had to leave their homes due to the floods. 53,000 of them had no place to go and were taken to public shelters.

A total of 59 municipalities in the two states were damaged by the storms or by the massive flood caused by the breakdown of the Bom Retiro Dam. Nine of them declared state of calamity and 30 declared state of emergency.

According to the authorities, 11,400 houses, 79 bridges and over 2,000 kilometers of highways were destroyed. At least 20,000 people are still stuck in isolated areas.

Earlier in the day, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited the region and announced the release of 550 million reais (308 million U.S. dollars) to help rebuild the damaged towns. In additions, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) will release one billion reais (561 million U.S. dollars) to rebuild smaller companies in the region.

The federal government also sent field hospitals and food kits to the local population. Rescue workers from several Brazilian states were sent to the region to help in the rescue efforts.

 

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