‘We are living in the worst disaster in Bahia history,’ said the governor.
At least 20 people have died as a result of floods in northeastern Brazil, officials said Monday, as the region prepares for heavy rains.
At the home of about 15 million people, temporary floods have been rampant in the state of Bahia for the past two days after two dams collapsed, leaving people in dire straits.
“Unfortunately, we are facing the worst disaster in Bahia’s history,” the country’s governor, Rui Costa, said on Twitter, adding that 72 municipalities in Bahia were in danger.
Rescue teams are trying to carry supplies and bring medical care to the victims, the governor added, but the destruction of bridges and highways has made the task even more daunting.
The two dams that collapsed over the weekend were in the cities of Jussiape and Itambe.
Rescuers have been patrolling small boats around the town of Itabuna, evacuating people from their homes, including some who have fled through second-floor windows.
A spokesman for the Bahia fire brigade, Manfredo Santana, on Monday told Reuters that paramedics had rescued 200 people in three towns. The strong currents of the Cachoeira River have made life-saving work more difficult.
He said: “It is difficult to improve even with jet skis. “Rescue teams have to come back sometimes.”
The Bahia People’s Security Council said on Monday afternoon that 20 people had died in the floods in 11 different towns.
The government said the day before that more than 16,000 people had been left homeless by the floods.
In a televised address, Costa also said the riot had led to “mistakes made over the years”.
O Globo, citing a local fire chief, said officials were monitoring 10 dams to identify any signs of collapse.
A review of public buildings and town plans comes just a few years later the collapse of the mines’ blood in the nearby province of Minas Gerais killed about 270 people.
A government team made up of firefighters and police have been set up in the affected areas.
In Salvador’s capital, climate officials said that December’s rainfall was six times more than the average.
Heavy rain is associated with La Nina, a climate that tends to occur every three to five years and makes the Pacific Ocean much colder than usual.