Death toll from Brazil floods, landslides reaches 57

Sao Paulo, Feb. 25 (BNA): The death toll from the torrential rains that swept the coastal areas of Sao Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, has reached 57, according to official figures.

According to Reuters, heavy rains have caused landslides and floods in coastal cities in Brazil’s richest state since last weekend. The city of São Sebastião bore the brunt of the casualties, with 56 reported deaths.

The Sao Paulo state government said in a statement that more rains are expected on Friday while search and rescue efforts continue and dozens are still missing. It added that more than 4,000 people had been forced to leave their homes.

The local government also called on tourists not to travel to cities in the region to avoid overburdening hospitals, roads, water and food supplies. It added that it was taking control measures to avoid abusive charges on food, water, fuel and other supplies on the coast.

On Thursday, a Brazilian navy ship arrived in Sao Sebastiao to help rescue the victims.

The ship will serve as an emergency field hospital, equipped with helicopters and landing craft, as well as hospital beds.

Regional Development Minister Valdez Joyce said on Friday that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had instructed him to continue dialogue with local officials and ensure services are provided to the affected population.

Joyce added that the government would also work to “restore and rebuild the city”.

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