At least 28 dead in heavy rains in northeast Brazil

At least 28 people were killed Saturday in Brazil by heavy rain that for days has lashed the metropolitan region of Recife, capital of northeastern Pernambuco state, authorities said.

“In the last 24 hours, 28 deaths have been recorded,” the Civil Defense said in a statement.

The most dramatic event occurred in the early morning when 19 people died in a major landslide in the Jardim Monteverde community, on the border between Recife and the municipality of Jaboatao dos Guararapes.

Six others were killed in another landslide in the municipality of Camaragibe. Two died in Recife and another in Jaboatao dos Guararapes.

The total death toll in the state since the rains began to hit the region on Tuesday night is 33. “Five other deaths had already occurred during Tuesday’s storm,” the statement said, without giving further details.

The heavy rains also left almost 1,000 people displaced from their homes due to flooding and landslides.

Videos posted on social media show wide flooded avenues in several municipalities, collapsing houses and landslides.

Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the volume of rainfall reached 236 millimetres (nine inches) in some parts of the Pernambuco capital, according to the mayor’s office.

That’s equivalent to more than 70 per cent of the forecast for the whole month of May in the city.

The Pernambuco Water and Climate Agency said the situation could worsen as rain will continue for the next 24 hours in the state.

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