Brazil flood evacuees increase tenfold to 50,000
Severe flooding caused by a week of torrential rain in southern Brazil has forced more than 50,000 people from their homes, officials said Sunday, increasing an earlier estimate almost tenfold.
The emergency agency for Santa Catarina state said 40,000 people had been forced to leave their homes, while neighboring Rio Grande do Sul said 10,700 people had evacuated, revising earlier estimates as the extent of the damage became clear.
On Saturday, the two states had reported a combined total of 6,000 evacuees.
Images of the affected areas showed entire neighborhoods with houses covered in water up to their roofs.
The floods have hit 37 towns in Santa Catarina and 59 in Rio Grande do Sul, officials said.
Rio Grande do Sul reported that more than twice the average rainfall for June in the state from Monday to Friday alone.
The rains continued over the weekend, though they let up slightly Sunday afternoon.
The southern state of Parana was also hit by heavy rains this month, causing floods that killed 11 people and affected more than 700,000.
The flooding comes as Brazil hosts the World Cup round of 16.
Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, hosts the knockout match between Germany and Algeria on Monday, but has not been hit by the recent floods.