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Landslides and floods kill at least 31 in northeast Brazil

BRASILIA, BRAZIL (AP) – Landslides caused by heavy rains killed at least 29 people in the state of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil on Saturday, authorities said.

In Alagoas, another state in the region, two people died when they were swept away in river flooding on Friday.

More than 1,000 people have been forced to leave their homes because of the flooding in Pernambuco, civil defence officials said.

The Executive Secretary of the Civil Defence Agency in Pernambuco Lieutenant Colonel Leonardo Rodrigues, said in a video posted on Instagram that about 32,000 families live in areas at risk of landslides or flooding in the state.

Schools in the city of Recife have been opened to receive the homeless. In Alagoas, 33 municipalities have declared an emergency due to the effects of the heavy rains in the past several days.

President Jair Bolsonaro said on Twitter that teams from the Ministry of Regional Development and the Armed Forces will be sent to the state and also to Alagoas for “relief and humanitarian assistance”.

A woman stands on a bus stop bench as a driver of a Volkswagen van navigates a flooded street in Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. PHOTO: AP