Thousands flee Brazilian floods

Two dead and thousands evacuated as rains and mudslides hit northeastern Brazil.

    Brazil has endured a series of floods this year claiming over 1 705 lives; damages estimated at $1.2 billion- [Reuters]

    Three days of heavy rain has taken its toll in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil, after flooding and mudslides killed at least two people and forced 20,000 others evacuate their homes.

    Civil defense officials say 35 cities have been affected by these recent downpours. Local media reported that two women: a 21-year-old who died in a mudslide and a 77-year-old, who died of a stroke while trying to rescue some of her belongings are the first victims of the weather.

    Tens of thousands have had to flee and resettle with relatives and friends or in local schools and gymnasiums.

    The State of Pernambuco lies mostly on the Amazon Plateau, and tends to have a relatively drier climate than its neighbouring region to the north, the Amazon Basin.

    On average for the month of May, the state usually receives about 61mm of rain, with heavier accumulations closer to the coast.

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see areas experience flooding of this nature when the ground is so dry and heavy rainfall cannot be absorbed. It is then funnelled through dormant riverbeds creating violent flash floods.

    Flooding should subside over the next few days with most of the heavy rain showers expected to push northwards.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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