Rio de Janeiro, Dec 28 (EFE). Brazilian authorities raised to 45 the number of deaths caused by torrential rains over the past few weeks in the southeastern part of the country, and said that seven people are still missing.
Civil Defense organizations in the states of Minas Gerais and Espiritu Santo reported Saturday the deaths of four victims in different accidents between Thursday and Friday due to the downpours.
Two of the fatalities, identified as Emilson Pereira Lourenco, 36, and Luiz Goncalves de Almeida, 66, drowned after being swept away by floodwaters in the town of Virgolandia, Minas Gerais state, one of the areas hit hardest by the storms and which was visited Friday by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Allison Pablo da Silva Rocha, 17, died this Friday after crashing a motorcycle into a tree blown down by high winds in the municipality of Buritizeiro, also in Minas Gerais.
In Espiritu Santo, authorities reported the death of an unidentified person in the town of Pancas as a result of floods affecting the area.
Six people are stranded at an unknown location in the municipality of Baixo Guandu, as is another in the region of Minas Gerais, while 69,456 people had to evacuate their homes, according to various official accounts.
No rain fell in Espiritu Santo on Saturday, but further flooding took place in the town of Pontal do Ipiranga as the Doce River crested and overflowed, a communique said.
The Brazilian government has ordered the immediate shipment of humanitarian aid to the area and has eliminated all bureaucratic red tape in order to channel funds there without complications. EFE