NEWS: Brazil
Rains and landslides kill 18 people in Brazil.

The down­pours, which began on Fri­day, killed at least 11 peo­ple on Sun­day when earth smoth­ered homes in sev­er­al towns in the state’s inte­ri­or, author­i­ties said.

Accord­ing to the munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment, three peo­ple from the same fam­i­ly died when a land­slide destroyed their house in the town of Embu das Artes, while four oth­er peo­ple were res­cued by firefighters.

Four chil­dren died in Fran­cis­co Mora­to, Sao Paulo state gov­er­nor Joao Doria said. Four oth­er peo­ple died at Fran­co da Rocha, author­i­ties said.

Deaths were also report­ed in Ribeirao Pre­to and Jau. Three of those killed were washed away by floodwaters.

“Since last Fri­day, the unrest caused by bad weath­er has claimed 18 lives, includ­ing sev­en chil­dren,” said the gov­ern­ment of Sao Paulo state, cit­ing civ­il protection.

Over­flow­ing rivers forced 500,000 fam­i­lies from their homes, the state gov­ern­ment said. Sev­er­al roads and high­ways were also blocked.

Doria sur­veyed the dam­age by air on Sun­day before announc­ing it was releas­ing 15 mil­lion reals ($2.7 mil­lion) to help the 10 worst-hit cities and 645 munic­i­pal­i­ties in Brazil’s most pop­u­lous state, home to 46 mil­lion people.

Doria expressed her “sol­i­dar­i­ty” with the fam­i­lies of the 18 victims.

Brazil has been pun­ished by heavy rains since the start of the year, with 19 deaths record­ed ear­li­er this month in east­ern Minas Gerais, which bor­ders Sao Paulo to the northeast.

In Decem­ber, at least 21 peo­ple died and 358 oth­ers were injured dur­ing days of rain in Bahia state, which bor­ders Minas Geras to the north. The worst of these floods came after two dams burst on Decem­ber 24.

The floods have affect­ed the coun­try’s coro­n­avirus vac­ci­na­tion cam­paign, with the city of Sao Paulo can­cel­ing planned vaccinations.

The heavy rain­fall coin­cides with La Nina, a phe­nom­e­non that typ­i­cal­ly occurs every three to five years and leads to cool­er than nor­mal Pacif­ic Ocean tem­per­a­tures and affects weath­er across the globe.

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