14 dead, over 70,000 affected in Brazil floods

May 5th, 2009 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, May 5 (RIA Novosti) At least 14 people have died and more than 70,000 affected in flash floods in northern Brazil, officials said Tuesday.
The government has announced a state of emergency in 29 cities and towns in the northern state of Maranhao, the worst affected region in the country, the Civil Defence Service said.

Heavy rains lashed the region for more than four weeks, officials said. Lack of fresh drinking water and power cuts have compounded the problem.

The government has sent about 115 tonnes of food and other essential items to the affected areas.

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