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12 dead in torrential Brazil rains: officials

by Staff Writers
Sao Paulo (AFP) April 24, 2011
Brazilian authorities on Sunday declared a state of emergency in seven cities in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul where torrential rain has left 12 dead and thousands homeless.

The rainfall that began Thursday has continued for three days straight in some regions of the south, with civil defense officials saying that seven municipalities are in a state of emergency -- Taquari, Santa Cruz, Paverama, Piratini, Pareci Novo, Igrejinha and Cacequi -- and another seven are on alert.

The 12 dead include seven people killed in a landslide in the town of Novo Hamburgo that engulfed six houses, with the other deaths occurring in the towns of Sapucacia and Fazenda Vilanova.

Rains are expected to clear up in the state by Monday, said the region's Civil Defense coordinator Ari Ferreira.

The heavy rains come after record downfalls swamped southern Santa Catarina state and Sao Paulo in January, claiming 1,348 lives mainly from flooding and mudslides, while over 21,000 people lost their homes or had to abandon them amid fears of likely collapses.

earlier related report
Canada flooding forces evacuations
Montreal (AFP) April 24, 2011 - Nearly 2,000 Canadians, many from Indian reservations, have been evacuated in recent days because spring floods are threatening their homes, provincial officials said.

More than 165 members of the Anishinabe First Nation, including the elderly and families with young children, were ordered Saturday to leave their reservation on the banks of the Roseau River, a tributary of the Red River in southern Manitoba province.

Another 958 people, including members of the Peguis First Nation and residents of small towns in the Red River valley, were also evacuated in recent days.

Fifty provincial highways and hundreds of local roads are closed due to flooding in southern Manitoba.

In the neighboring central province of Saskatchewan, the floods forced evacuations of an estimated 750 people.

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Floods force hundreds to evacuate in central Canada
Montreal (AFP) April 19, 2011
Persistent flooding in Canada's central province of Manitoba has forced hundreds of people from their homes and closed dozens of roads, authorities said Tuesday. Officials worked around the clock to build higher dikes near towns along the Assiniboine River, near the province's western border where flood threats were the most serious. A total of 763 people have been evacuated from their h ... read more

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