PETRPOLIS: Rescuers in boats and aircraft raced against the clock on Sunday to help isolated people in Brazil’s mountainous southeast after storms and heavy rains killed at least 20 people.

With more rain predicted, the deluge pounded the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo, where authorities described a chaotic situation due to flooding.

The most affected municipality is Mimoso do Sul, a town of almost 25,000 inhabitants located in the south of Espirito Santo, where at least 10 people died in floods, though officials fear the toll may yet rise.

State Governor Renato Casagrande described the situation as “chaotic,” saying that so far it has not been possible to assess the damage in some of the more isolated areas, with fears the toll could yet rise.

At least eight people have been killed in the neighboring state of Rio de Janeiro, officials said, most of them caused by landslides.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2024

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