RIO DE JANEIRO, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The number of deaths in the storms which have been hitting Brazil's northeastern region in the past two weeks hit 57, local authorities informed on Tuesday.
In the state of Alagoas, the number of deaths reached 37, and in neighboring Pernambuco state, it reached 20. According to the authorities, there were at least 69 people missing.
Over 181,000 people have been affected by the storms and by the breakdown of the Bom Conselho Dam, in Pernambuco. A total of 157,000 people had to leave their homes in the two states; Out of those, some 50,000 had nowhere to go and are currently in improvised shelters.
Thirty-one towns declared state of emergency and other 27 declared state of calamity. Some locations are still isolated by the waters.
The damage in the two states have yet to be fully analyzed, but according to the local authorities, it would exceed 1 billion reais (555 million U.S. dollars). About 4,400 kilometers of highways have been damaged in the two states, and 142 bridges have been destroyed.
In some locations, the public schools' winter holidays have been anticipated, as many school buildings suffered severe damages and are in no conditions to operate, and others are serving as shelters for the homeless. Because of that, classes are likely to be delayed.
- Death toll in Brazil storms reaches 54 2010-06-29