Over 40 dead, hundreds still missing, tens of thousands of people forced to flee their homes due to some of the worst flooding in over a decade in the northeast of Brazil.

These are just a few of the images and personal snapshots encountered by Al Jazeera during the course of the day in villages hardest hit in Alagoas state.

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Humberto Cristiano lives in Rio Largo, a town that suffered massive destruction, but we found him in the town of Uni?o dos Palmares, helping his relatives, whose house was demolished. He said keeping spirits high in such desperate times has been a challenge. "Now is the time to believe in the saying that ‘I am Brazilian, and I never give up',” he told us. (Photo: Channtal Fleischfresser/Al Jazeera)

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Vanderson Ferreira da Silva and Wellington Vicente da Silva have been combing through the rubble of crushed homes searching for cables and wires they can sell. Both children lost their homes and all their possessions along the riverbank in Uni?o dos Palmares. (Photo: Channtal Fleischfresser/Al Jazeera)

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A boy drinks out of a coconut in Uni?o dos Palmares. (Photo: Channtal Fleischfresser/Al Jazeera)

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Maria Magdalena da Silva, 68, lost everything in her home in the village of Branquinha. She lived in the two bedroom home for over 30 years. “The water was getting high, so high, people started to run from one house to another when water got above their ankles. I went to another house and ran through several backyards to survive,” she told us. The water ended up totally covering her home, she lost everything she owns. (Photo: Maria Elena Romero/Al Jazeera)

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A man walks along the riverbank in Uni?o dos Palmares, his family following behind him. Hundreds of families lost their homes along this riverbank. (Photo: Channtal Fleischfresser/Al Jazeera)

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A muddy teddy bear in a flooded house in the village of Branquinha. (Photo: Channtal Fleischfresser/Al Jazeera)

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A boy sits on the rubble of his destroyed home in Uni?o dos Palmares. (Photo: Maria Elena Romero/Al Jazeera).

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All that is left of a pharmacy in Branquinha. (Photo:Maria Elena Romero/Al Jazeera)