Brazil: 3 killed during heavy rains and flooding

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s government declared a state of emergency in almost 50 cities in the states of Bahia and Minas Gerais due to heavy rains that caused floods and killed at least three people.

The decision, published in the official gazette on Friday night, affects 17 cities in Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil, and another 31 in Minas Gerais, in the southeast.

The strong storms in recent days were caused by the passage of a subtropical cyclone originated over the Atlantic Ocean. Dozens of cities were cut off by water, and houses and bridges collapsed.

In Itamarajú, a city of 60,000 in Bahia, a 26-year-old man and his two nephews died Wednesday after a house collapsed. The streets of some cities were completely covered by water and mud that reached the roofs of houses, local television showed.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Saturday that the government will provide financial assistance to those who lost their homes. Authorities have not yet reported the total number of people affected.

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