100 killed in Brazil rainNovember 27th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS
Brasilia, Nov 27 (IANS) More than 100 people have been killed in accidents caused by continuous downpour over the past two weeks in southern Brazil as President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva rushed to Santa Catarina state to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation, EFE reported Thursday.Authorities said the deaths were due to mudslides and flooding, adding some 1.5 million people have been rendered homeless in the unusually heavy rain blamed by experts on climate change.
Large parts of the state have been cut off from the rest of the country.
Almost the whole of the coastal city of Itajai with a population of 130,000 is under water and operation at the port has been paralysed, city officials said.
Rescue and relief teams with the help of the army are airlifting essential supplies and emergency medicines to the areas, officials said.
The federal government has allocated 1.6 billion reais ($696) in emergency aid for the victims of mudslides and floods in the southern cities of Santa Caratina, Rio de Janeiro, Minus Gerais and Espiritu Santo.