The death toll from floods and landslides in Brazil over the Carnival weekend has risen to at least 44. In the city of São Sebastião in the southeast of the country alone, 43 people died, the government of the state of São Paulo announced on Tuesday. Another death was reported from Ubatuba. According to media reports, children were also among the dead. 40 people were still missing. Heavy rains since Saturday had caused flooding and landslides along the state's Atlantic coast, a popular destination for vacationers escaping Mardi Gras.
According to the government of São Paulo, more than 600 millimeters of rain were recorded within 24 hours - one of the largest amounts of rainfall in Brazil in such a short time. More than 500 firefighters and other rescue workers were on duty looking for more victims. Governor Tarcísio de Freitas declared three days of national mourning in the state of São Paulo. Some cities canceled carnival celebrations.
The governor of the neighboring state of Rio de Janeiro expressed his condolences at the world-famous parades in the Sambodrome: "Today, the pain of every resident of São Paulo is the pain of every resident of Rio," said Cláudio Castro. According to the government, 1,730 people were displaced because of the rain, and around 770 lost their homes. Teams also worked to clear blocked roads. Tourists began leaving the affected region.
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