Death toll from Brazilian floods rises to 31
The death toll from two weeks of torrential rains and floods in Brazil has risen to 31, officials announced Thursday.
The number of people killed by the natural disaster has been steadily increasing since it began on April 26. More than four million people have been affected—including nearly one million who have had to leave their homes—in a total of 89 municipalities across 10 Brazilian states: Piauí, Alagoas, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Maranhão, Pará, Sergipe, Bahia, Pernambuco and Tocantins.
The worst-impacted states are Maranhão and Piauí, with 16 and 7 deaths respectively.
More than 27,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes, and almost 30,000 have been displaced, according to the National Civil Defense System.
The flooding has also destroyed some 30,000 homes, including nearly 13,000 in Maranhão and 13,000 in Pará.
Authorities are struggling to provide food, water, and medicines to the affected population. In the city of Barra do Corda, for example, where more than 4,000 people have been evacuated, the local government is delivering food with two helicopters.
The floods have also caused wide-scale economic losses, including damage to crops, livestock, and infrastructure.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has declared the affected states disaster areas and released funds for relief efforts. He has also called for a meeting with his cabinet to review and upgrade the assistance provided to the affected population.