24 Jun 2010

Many dead, hundreds missing in Brazilian floods

9:01 pm on 24 June 2010

Hundreds of people are missing in north-eastern Brazil after floods swept through several towns in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco.

The floods, brought on by nearly a week of rain, are thought to have destroyed entire villages, killing at least 44 people and forcing as many as 120,000 to flee their homes.

Churches, schools and hospitals have been destroyed, and many are still under water, even though heavy rains have eased, allowing rescuers to reach cut-off areas.

The governor of Alagoas, Teotonio Vilela Filho, is reported by the BBC as saying that bodies are being washed up on beaches and riverbanks.