Floods kill at least 29 in northern Brazil and Amazon region
Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 12:16 pm
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Officials say at least 29 people have been killed by floods and mudslides in northern Brazil.
Authorities there are struggling to get aid to dozens of small cities cut off by overflowing rivers in the Amazon region.
Months of heavy rains have soaked the region from the rainforests to the Atlantic coast. Civil defense officials say nearly 200,000 people have been forced from their homes, while thousands more have been stranded across 10 states.
One official says roads have been swept away by the floods, and relief efforts are being supported by two air force helicopters as well as boats and trucks.
Brazil's president flew over the hardest-hit areas yesterday, delivering food baskets to shelters and meeting with local officials. He promised aid to repair infrastructure and voiced concerns that global climate change could be responsible for the unusually heavy rains and destruction.