The death toll from floods and landslides in Brazil over the carnival weekend has risen to at least 40. In São Sebastião alone in the southeast of the country, 39 people died, the government of the state of São Paulo announced yesterday. Another death was reported from Ubatuba.
According to media reports, children were also among the dead. Heavy rains since Saturday had caused flooding and landslides along the state's Atlantic coast, a popular destination for vacationers escaping Mardi Gras.
Still many people missing
According to the government of São Paulo, more than 600 millimeters of rain were recorded within 24 hours - one of the heaviest amounts of precipitation in Brazil in this short period of time. In February 2022, more than 200 people died after landslides and floods in the mountainous region behind Rio de Janeiro.
More than 500 firefighters and other rescue workers were on the São Paulo coast looking for more victims. 40 people were still missing. Governor Tarcísio de Freitas declared three days of national mourning in the state of São Paulo. Some cities canceled carnival celebrations.
"Two miracles" in rescue operations
Around 2,500 people left or lost their homes, according to the information. Blocked roads made rescue work difficult. Water and electricity supplies as well as telephone connections were affected. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited the affected areas yesterday and announced that no more houses could be built in risk areas.
The government of São Paulo also reported "two miracles" on Twitter. A trapped two-year-old child and a pregnant woman who had already gone into labor and her baby were rescued.