Flood death toll rises to 65
The death toll from floods and mudslides caused by torrential rains in southern Brazil has risen to 65 people, with 17 still missing, civil defense authorities said today.
Most of those killed died in mudslides that swept away homes and businesses, and officials from Santa Catarina state fear more mudslides may happen because the earth is still saturated with water.
The state’s sole source of natural gas from Bolivia remains cut off following a pipeline rupture, prompting shortages of cooking gas and fuel used to power cars.
Seventeen highways are blocked by mudslides. Authorities say the flooding has affected 1.5 million people, and that nearly 30,000 were forced to leave their homes.
Hardest hit was the city of Blumenau, where 13 people died after being buried by mudslides. Another 15 people suffered serious injuries, and 72 people received non-life threatening injuries, the statement said.
More than 150,000 people in the city of nearly 300,000 had no electricity. Blumenau is a renowned tourist destination founded by German immigrants and is well-known for its Oktoberfest celebration.