Brazil: Cities cancel Carnival due to deadly floods
Some 20 people have died in floods which hit several cities in the north of Sao Paulo state. Pre-lenten Carnival festivities were canceled as the governor requested the army's support.
Torrential rains hit coastal areas of Brazil's south east, triggering floods and landslides which killed nearly two dozen and left hundreds more homeless.
The rains struck the north of Sao Paulo state on Sunday. Two of the hardest hit cities, Sao Sebastiao and Bertioga, canceled their pre-lenten Carnival festivities. Tarcisio de Freitas, the state governor of Sao Paulo, declared a state of emergency in five towns along the coast.
At least 23 people have died as a result of the floods so far, according to Felipe Augusto, the mayor of Sao Sebastiao. The floods left over 200 people homeless, with 338 more evacuated in the coastal region north of the city of Sao Paulo, according to the state government.
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he planned to visit the flood struck areas in Sao Paulo on Monday, describing the events as a "tragedy."
What do we know about the floods?
Footage across TV and social media showed entire neighborhoods submerged, flooded highways and destroyed vehicles. Residents were seen using small boats to elevate people and items.
The Brazilian Army authorized troops and resources of the military command of the southeast to support the victims, the state government said. The deployment came in response to the governor of Sao Paulo's request.
Two aircrafts were made available to help the search and rescue teams.
Several roads were blocked due to the debris carried through by the floods. Authorities said they were working to clear the roads on the north coast.
Heavy rains are projected to continue in Sao Paulo's coastal areas, weather forecasts predicted, which means the death toll is likely to climb.
Wealthy tourists usually flock to the northern coast of Sao Paulo state during Carnival season to escape the big cities' massive street parties.
rmt/ar (AP, AFP, Reuters)
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