Brazil cancel carnival as torrential rains kill 36

Floods and land­slides trig­gered by heavy rains in Brazil’s north­ern state of São Paulo have killed 36 peo­ple on Sun­day, offi­cials said, with the death toll like­ly to rise.

In a state­ment, the São Paulo provin­cial gov­ern­ment said 35 peo­ple had died in the city of San Sebas­tiao and a 7‑year-old girl in neigh­bor­ing Ubatuba.

The cities of San Sebas­tiao, Ubatu­ba, Iljabera and Bertio­ga were among the hard­est-hit and now have dis­as­ter man­age­ment head­quar­ters, but the car­ni­val was can­celed and res­cuers were left miss­ing, injured or dead in the rub­ble. Strug­gling to find some­one who could have done it.

“The sit­u­a­tion is chaot­ic, with res­cue teams unable to reach sev­er­al loca­tions,” said Felipe Augus­to, may­or of San Sebas­tiao. Dozens of peo­ple have since gone miss­ing and 50 hous­es have been destroyed by land­slides, he added.

May­or Augus­to post­ed sev­er­al videos on social media show­ing the dev­as­ta­tion across the city, includ­ing a video of a baby being res­cued by res­i­dents lin­ing a flood­ed road.

Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent Luis Ina­cio Lula da Sil­va said on Twit­ter that he will vis­it the region on Monday.

In a state­ment, the state gov­ern­ment of São Paulo said the area received more than 600mm of rain in a sin­gle day, mak­ing it one of the heav­i­est in Brazil record­ed in such a short time.

Bertio­ga alone received 687mm of rain dur­ing that time, accord­ing to the state government.

Gov. Tar­cio de Fre­itas said he had request­ed assis­tance from the army, which had sent two planes and a res­cue team to the area.

Tele­vi­sion shows a flood­ed house with only the roof vis­i­ble. Res­i­dents use small boats to car­ry goods and peo­ple to high­er ground. Land­slides and flood­ing blocked roads con­nect­ing Rio de Janeiro and the port city of Santos.

The north­ern coast of São Paulo state is fre­quent­ed for car­ni­vals by wealthy tourists who want to avoid the big city street parties.

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