At least seven people have been killed in one week in the Brazilian state of São Paulo due to heavy rains, Agencia Brasil reported Friday. Five of the victims belonged to the same family in the city of Araraquara.
The heavy rains that hit the state of São Paulo during this week caused the death of seven people between Tuesday and Thursday, according to the state's Civil Defense authorities.
The rain opened a crater on an avenue in the city and a car passing by ended up sucked into the current. Five of the vehicle's occupants died in the incident and another is still missing. The Araraquara City Hall declared a three-day mourning period in memory of the victims, which overlaps with a similar measure in effect nationwide over the death of football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé).
In Campinas, where the accumulated rainfall reached 183 millimeters, the death of a man who had his vehicle hit by a tree was registered. In São Carlos, the rainfall was even greater and reached 238 millimeters of accumulated rainfall, causing the death of a 52-year-old woman who was swept away by the torrent. In Itupeva, São João da Boa Vista, Sumaré, and Monte Mor, the rains left many families homeless, Agencia Brasil also pointed out.
So far in December, 13 deaths were recorded statewide as a result of the rains while three people are still missing and 303 people were rendered homeless, with 1,244 others displaced. In all, 54 municipalities in the state of São Paulo were affected by the December rains.
The rain alert effective until Friday was expected to be extended through to the New Year's Eve weekend.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)