Brazil floods kill 20, force 40,000 to evacuate


Fears mount of revisiting last year's tragedy. Here, local residents cross a flooded road over a makeshift bridge 150 km north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Floods and mudslides caused by heavy downpours in southeastern Brazil have killed at least 20 people and forced another 40,000 to evacuate.

The heavy rains, which began last week, affected 45 Brazilian municipalities, causing some of their major roads to crumble.

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The civil defense department of Minas Gerais said on Monday that 14 people died in the state because of floodwaters or mudslides, and about 700 others sought shelter in public buildings or the homes of friends and relatives.

Neighboring Espirito Santo state said another six people were killed there, and some 40,150 had to leave their homes due to mudslides and rivers overflowing their banks. In 24 hours, 130 millimeters of rain had fallen in the state.