26 Nov 2008

Fatal flooding in Brazil

6:00 am on 26 November 2008

Floods in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina have left 65 people dead and about 43,000 people homeless.

The federal government and other states are sending aid, including helicopters to reach stranded residents.

Days of heavy rainfall have caused landslides that have destroyed homes and blocked roads in the region.

Eight towns are cut off by floods while more than 160,000 people are reported to be without electricity.

Santa Catarina is the heartland for German and Italian immigrants in Brazil.

The floods also closed a branch of a pipeline carrying natural gas from Bolivia to Brazil on Monday.