BRASILIA – Landslides and flooding caused by heavy rains killed at least 19 people in Brazil’s most populous state Sunday while high waters forced some 500,000 families from their homes over the weekend, authorities said.
Three people from the same family died when a landslide destroyed their house in the city of Embu das Artes, according to the municipal government, while four other people were rescued by firemen.
Four children died in Francisco Morato, Sao Paulo state Gov. João Doria said, and the state government said four other people died in Franco da Rocha. Deaths also were reported in Ribeirão Preto and Jaú.
Three of the deaths involved people who were swept away by flood waters, the state fire department said.
Doria used a helicopter to survey damaged areas on Sunday and announced the equivalent of $2.8 million in financial aid to affected cities.
Overflowing rivers forced 500,000 families to leave their homes, the state government said. Several roads and highways were blocked.
Because of disruptions caused by the rain, the city of Sao Paulo canceled scheduled vaccinations against the coronavirus.
Southeastern Brazil has been punished with heavy rains since the start of the year, with 19 deaths recorded in Minas Gerais state earlier this month.