A handout picture released by the Communication Department of Pernambuco State Government showing firefighters evacuating residents from a flooded area in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil Photograph:( AFP )
In what is the South American nation's fourth major flooding event in five months, 19 people died on the border between the state capital Recife and the municipality of Jaboatao dos Guararapes in a major landslide in the Jardim Monteverde community
At least 35 people have been killed by torrential rains in Brazil's northeastern Pernambuco state as downpours lashed two major cities on the Atlantic coast.
In what is the South American nation's fourth major flooding event in five months, 19 people died on the border between the state capital Recife and the municipality of Jaboatao dos Guararapes in a major landslide in the Jardim Monteverde community.
Expressing his "sorrow and solidarity to the victims of this sad disaster", Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said his government will do everything possible "to alleviate the suffering."
He has deployed a federal task force to Pernambuco "to assist in relief operations and provide the necessary aid to affected families."
Lamenting the flooding on Twitter, Bolsonaro's main opponent in an October presidential election, leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, "My solidarity to the families in the Recife metropolitan area who are suffering from the strong rains," he wrote.
Brazil's Civil Defence in a statement that six others were killed in another landslide in the municipality of Camaragibe.
According to Brazil's federal emergency service, authorities in the neighboring state of Alagoas had registered two deaths.
The heavy rains are the product of a typical seasonal phenomenon called "eastern waves" according to meteorologist Estael Sias, of the MetSul agency.
Calling them areas of "atmospheric disturbance" that move from the African continent to Brazil's northeastern coastal region, Sias told news agency AFP, "In other areas of the Atlantic this instability forms hurricanes, but in northeastern Brazil, it has the potential for a lot of rain and even thunderstorms."
Torrential downpours in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro state had previously killed more than 230 people in February after Brazil spent the majority of 2021 in a severe drought.
(With inputs from agencies)
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