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Death toll from floods in Brazil hits 113 as rain returns

Aerial view after flooding caused by heavy rains in Mucum, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Rains returned to Rio Grande do Sul on Friday as the death toll from historic floods in Brazil's southernmost state reached 113, according to local authorities.

Storms and floods battering the state, home to some 10.9 million people, have also left more than 337,000 displaced while another 146 people were still unaccounted for, civil defense said.

Heavy rains have caused several rivers and lakes in the region to hit their highest levels ever, while floods blocked streets and disrupted logistics, triggering a shortage of essential goods in certain areas.

Weather forecaster MetSul said that most Rio Grande do Sul cities should see rains on Friday, adding there is a "high risk of storms". They should persist until Monday, it added in a statement.

In Canoas, one of the most affected cities near the state capital Porto Alegre, over 6,000 people were staying in a college gymnasium turned into a shelter.

The state government said more than 385,000 people had no water services, while some 20 cities were out of telecom services.

On Thursday, the federal government announced a package of aid measures to help Rio Grande do Sul, which included bringing forward payment of social benefits and providing cheaper credit to farmers and companies.

Governor Eduardo Leite said earlier this week that initial calculations indicate that Rio Grande do Sul would need at least 19 billion reais ($3.68 billion) to rebuild from the damage, which has extended into farm areas around the capital.

(Source: Agencies) 

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