The FINANCIAL — RIO DE JANEIRO, At least 114 people have died and over 78,000 have been left homeless in flooded areas of southern Brazil, the country's Civil Defense Service said on December 1.
Dozens of towns in the state of Santa Catarina have been blocked off due to flooded roads. Many of those killed were crushed by landslides, some of them inside their homes, the service said. Another 19 people are still missing.
Severe flooding began on around November 20, following heavy rains in the preceding two months.
Over 52 cm (20 inches) of rain has fallen in the region in the past few days, four times more than the average for this time of year.
Over 160,000 people have been left without electricity. Natural gas supplies were cut off in the south of the state after a pipeline was damaged by rains. In total, 1.5 million are believed to have been affected by the floods and landslides.
A state of emergency has been declared in the region, and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has pledged to allocate $880 million in aid to the worst-hit areas.
Brazilian meteorologists have warned that rains are likely to continue. Schools in the state have been closed.