SAO PAULO – At least 8,000 people were affected by last weekend’s strong rains in the city of Touros, in northeast Brazil, authorities said.
Many residents of the town located some 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Natal, capital of Rio Grande do Norte state, had to leave their homes, while others were trapped by floodwaters.
A score of families lost all their belongings and were moved to shelters set up by the city, officials said.
The city government declared a state of emergency and diverted floodwater to the sea.
Authorities also confirmed damages to almost 60 homes.
People woke up Wednesday to find their homes flooded, Touros resident Eliade Pinheiro de Souza told EFE.
“I was despairing and asked the neighbors for help, but they were busy saving anything they could save,” she said. “I lost my refrigerator, my television. Now I need to start over.”
The official forecast projects a decrease in rains over the next few days, which should facilitate actions by rescue teams and basic sanitation services.
The neighborhoods of Frei Damiao, Conjunto Calcanhar, Portal de Touros, and Praia do Cajueiro have been cut off by the flooding, authorities said.