AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
28 Dec 2021
2:29 pm

Brazil floods: 63k displaced, death toll rises to 20

AFP

The number of people who have been driven from their homes by the flooding has almost doubled since Sunday.

Rescuers and firefighters take empty coffins in boats and jet-skis from Ilheus to the Costa do Cacau Regional Hospital in Itabuna, on 27 December 2021. Photo: AFP/Camila Souza/Bahia State Government

The death toll from heavy rain and flooding that has plagued the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia since November rose to 20 on Monday, amid incessant torrents that have displaced almost 63,000 people, authorities said. 

Brazil floods death toll

Two new fatalities were recorded in the town of Itabuna: a 21-year-old man who was swept away by currents and a 33-year-old woman was killed in a landslide, according to a local government report.

brazil flooding rescue missions
More than 11,000 people have been displaced in the state of Bahia due to flooding. Photo: AFP/Governo Do Estado/Camila Souza

“We are living through the biggest disaster in Bahia’s history,” said Bahia Governor Rui Costa, who has been overseeing rescue operations in the afflicted areas since Saturday. 

“The water is starting to decline at the source of the Cachoeira River and it is expected to improve in the days to come, although slowly,” Costa said. 

brazil flooding rescue missions
Aerial view of floods caused by heavy rains in Itapetinga, Bahia State, Brazil. Photo: AFP/Manuella Luana

Houses were underwater and streets turned into rivers in several municipalities in the south of the state, pounded since Thursday by heavy rainfall that caused dams to burst and rivers to overflow at the weekend. 

In Itapetinga, AFP aerial footage showed three men paddling on a straw mattress in a street surrounded by houses with water reaching their windows.

brazil flooding rescue missions
Navy helping to transport and empty coffin from Ilheus to the Costa do Cacau Regional Hospital in ItabunaPhoto: AFP/Camila Souza/Bahia State Government

The number of people who have been driven from their homes by the flooding has almost doubled since Sunday to 62,796, according to the Civil Protection of Bahia. 

Another 358 people have been injured since the onset of the heavy rains in November. In total, authorities estimate that 116 municipalities, including at least 100 that are in a state of emergency, have been affected by the heavy rains.

© Agence France-Presse

brazil flooding rescue missions
Men are rescued by others on a jet-ski during a flood caused by heavy rains, in Itapetinga, Bahia State, Brazil. Photo: AFP/Manuella Luana