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Heavy rains and floods leave dozens dead in southeastern Brazil

A truck rides along a flooded street after the overflowing of the Das Velhas River in Sabara, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, on January 26, 2020, after heavy rains. - At least 30 people have been killed in two days of intense storms in southeastern Brazil, the Minas Gerais state Civil Defense office said Saturday. Seventeen people are also missing, seven injured, and some 3,500 have been forced out of their homes following a series of landslides and building collapses. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)

At least 44 people have been killed after heavy rains hit southeastern Brazil, the country’s Civil Defense force said Monday.

Around 13,000 people have been affected by the floods in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, with thousands forced out of their homes. A number of people remain missing, according to the defense force.

Authorities in Minas Gerais declared a state of emergency in 47 cities on Sunday. By Monday, the number of cities in a state of emergency had risen to more than 100, Brazil’s state-run news agency Agencia Brasil said.

While in India on Monday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that members of the Armed Forces have been mobilized to the area to help address the emergency.

Minas Gerais Governor Romeu Zema, who flew over the region on Sunday, said the most severely affected areas were those where people lived in informal and precarious housing.

He said a long-term solution to the frequent deadly flooding Brazil faces would be a “housing plan” to address the danger faced by residents.

Brazil’s federal government has designated about $20 million to help those affected by the rains, according to Agencia Brasil.

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