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Brazilian Floods Kill 32 and Force Tens of Thousands From Their Homes

Tens of thousands have been forced from their homes in Brazil in the wake of record floods.

Civil defense officials revealed that more than 50,000 were forced from their homes after widespread floods and mudslides. The flooding has led to 32 deaths thus far in two states in southeastern Brazil.

The civil defense department of Minas Gerais state reported that of those killed 17 people were from the state, while another 4,000 people in Minas Gerais were forced to stay in public buildings or in the homes of friends or family.

While in Espirito Santo the civil defense department said that 15 people were killed there with roughly 50,000 people being forced from their homes by flooding rivers and mudslides.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff toured flood-hit areas of the state and promised to provide federal aid to rebuild local infrastructure and private homes.

Rousseff said two helicopters and army trucks would be sent to the area to deliver food and medicine to those affected.

"The tragedy in Espirito Santo destroyed homes, roads and dreams," the president said after an aerial tour as reported by AFP. "We are going to try to rebuild them."

Nearly 15,000 miles of roads were either destroyed or damaged as a result of the flooding. Officials said 47 cities in Espirito Santo, which borders Rio de Janeiro state, were hit by flood waters leaving thousands without communications, clean water and power.

State governor Renato Casagrande, who declared a state of alert in the area on Saturday, described the rains as the worst in the past 90 years.

Brazil has seen record rains in December and a storm in the beginning of the month left 16 people dead and flattened more than 200 houses in the city of Lajedinho in the northeastern state of Bahia.

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