The Brazil floods that have killed at least 350 people this week come just after news reports revealed the federal government cut its budget for disaster prevention and preparation measures by almost a fifth.
AP Photo/Roberto Ferreira, Agencia O Dia
São Paulo, Brazil
At least 350 people have died and thousands more are injured or homeless after torrential rains hit parts of Brazil this week.
The worst hit area was in the state of Rio de Janeiro, where rivers of mud swept through towns and washed away houses, shops, and vehicles.
Cars and bodies floated through the streets on Wednesday and thousands of residents besieged authorities looking for news, or the bodies, of their loved ones.
IN PICTURES: Brazil floods
“We’re literally in a war situation,” one rescue worker was quoted as saying. “The biggest problem is that we have no communication. Our main mission today is to rescue as many people as possible, preferably alive.”
State and federal government governments sent rescue workers to the area along with tons of food, medicine, and blankets.
President Dilma Rousseff, who took office just 12 days ago, was due to visit the stricken area on Thursday and she earmarked 700 million reais ($418 million) in emergency aid.