Toll from Brazil downpours rises to 44, another 56 missing: Ministry

AFP , Sunday 29 May 2022

Torrential rains drenching northeastern Brazil since Tuesday have left at least 44 dead and another 56 missing, the government said Sunday in an updated toll.

This handout picture release by the Recife City Hall show a landslide that destroyed houses in the community Jardim Monte Verde, Ibura neighbourhood, in Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil, on May 28, 2022. AFP

"We registered 44 dead, 56 missing, 25 injured, 3,957 without shelter and 533 displaced," Minister of Regional Development Daniel Ferreira told a press conference in Recife, the capital of northeastern Pernambuco state.

The number of dead had mounted from 34 since Saturday, with at least 28 killed in landslides, as heavy rains caused rivers to overflow and torrents of mud swept away everything in their path.

During a lull in the rain, some 1,200 personnel from various agencies resumed search and rescue work, the state government said.

The National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) maintained its "red alert" through Sunday in Pernambuco, its highest level of warning for flooding and landslides.

"Although it has stopped raining now, we are forecasting heavy rains for the next few days, so the first thing is to maintain self-protection measures," said the minister.

Over the past year, hundreds of Brazilians have died in flooding and landslides brought on by torrential downpours.

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