Sao Paulo (EFE)
More than 500 people, including police, firefighters and members of the Armed Forces, are participating in the rescue and identification of the victims of the intense rainfall that has caused numerous damages and more than 2,000 evacuees in various locations in the region.
The most affected municipality is Sao Sebastiao, where 35 of the 36 deaths have been registered, according to the latest official balance.
The governor of Sao Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, said Monday in statements to the Globo chain that there are at least 40 missing people in that tourist city where the rains caused landslides that buried some homes.
The other fatality was reported in Ubatuba, also on the coast of Sao Paulo.
De Freitas decreed a “state of public calamity” for the cities of Sao Sebastiao, Ubatuba, Caraguatatuba, Ilhabelha and Bertioga, also affected by the storm.
The heavy rainfall last weekend has left a trail of destruction in its wake, including floods, landslides and serious damage to the region’s roads, making circulation on them practically unfeasible.
This catastrophe has taken place in the middle of the Carnival festivities, during which the cities on the coast of Sao Paulo receive a large number of tourists.
Lula flies over the area
The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, promised to “recover, really, the damage” caused by the rains on the coast of Sao Paulo.
“I can guarantee that my ministers will be willing to talk so that we can make an alliance to truly recover the damage that the rain caused here in Sao Paulo,” the president said in a statement in Sao Sebastiao, the hardest-hit municipality.
Lula interrupted his rest days in the state of Bahia to fly over and see in situ the areas affected by the intense storm that hit the tourist coast of the state of Sao Paulo over the weekend, in the middle of the celebrations for Carnival.
The rescue brigades are working this Monday in the search for survivors, in an operation involving more than 600 police, firefighters and soldiers, according to official sources.
In his statement to the media, the progressive leader made federal resources available to local authorities to “help recover” the city of Sao Sebastiao, where 35 of the 36 deaths have been registered, according to official data.