Flooding and landslides leave 36 people dead and dozens missing in Brazil

Residents used small boats to carry items and people to higher ground as 50 houses collapsed

Heavy rain caused flooding and landslides that have led to the deaths of 36 people in Brazil’s north Sao Paulo state, officials said.

Sao Paulo state government said in a statement that 35 died in the city of Sao Sebastiao and a seven-year-old girl was killed in neighbouring Ubatuba.

The cities of Sao Sebastiao, Ubatuba, Ilhabela and Bertioga cancelled their Carnival festivities as rescue teams struggled to find those missing, injured and feared dead in the rubble.

“Our rescue teams are not managing to get to several locations; it is a chaotic situation,” said Felipe Augusto, the mayor of Sao Sebastiao.


Later, he added there are dozens of people missing and that 50 houses collapsed in the city due to the landslides.

Mr Augusto posted on social media several videos of widespread destruction in his city, including one of a baby being rescued by locals lined up on a flooded street.

Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Twitter he will visit the region on Monday.

Sao Paulo state government said in a statement that precipitation in the region has surpassed 600mm in one day, one of the highest amounts ever in Brazil in such a short period.

Bertioga alone had 687mm during that period, the state government said.

Governor Tarcisio de Freitas said in a statement he requested support from the army, which sent two aeroplanes and rescue teams to the region.

TV footage showed houses flooded with only the roof visible. Residents are using small boats to carry items and people to higher positions.

A road that connects Rio de Janeiro to the port city of Santos was blocked by landslides and floodwaters.

The northern coast of Sao Paulo state is a frequent Carnival destination for wealthy tourists who prefer to stay away from large street parties in big cities. – AP