Arab weather - The death toll from the floods that hit northeastern Brazil on Monday has risen to 20, as the governor of Bahia state declared it the worst disaster in the state's history and rescuers prepared for more rain in the coming days.
Much of Bahia, home to about 15 million people, has suffered intermittent flooding for weeks, after a long drought that brought record rains. Floods in some areas intensified after two dams collapsed, forcing residents to leave their homes in search of higher ground.
Rescuers patrolled in small boats around the city of Itapuna in southern Bahia, to rescue stranded residents in their flooded homes, some even being rescued through windows on the upper floors, while the severe currents of the swollen Cachoeira River complicated the rescue efforts, and rescue teams had to Back off at certain moments.
Bahia state governor Rui Costa said on Twitter that 72 municipalities were in a state of emergency, writing: "Unfortunately, we are living in the worst disaster in Bahia's history."
Authorities are monitoring an additional 10 dams for any indications that they may collapse. In televised comments, Bahia's governor Costa attributed the chaotic scenes in part to "infrastructural errors made over the years".