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Flooding kills 41 in Brazil

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Flooding kills 41 in Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO – Officials scrambled Tuesday to get food and medical aid to two flood-hit Brazilian states where torrents of water ripped through towns, killing at least 41 people and driving 120,000 from their homes.Floodwaters toppled bridges and cut roads to dozens of cities. The Civil Defense department of Alagoas state received reports from local officials of 600 people missing in the chaos, but suggested most were not in danger.“We think the number missing is much, much smaller,” said Cpl. Edward Rocha, with the Alagoas Civil Defense.The heavy rains started last week and within two days dumped a month’s worth of water on areas of Alagoas and neighboring Pernambuco state. Some small towns were nearly destroyed by the flooding.There was light, scattered rain on Tuesday afternoon in the flooded areas, and more isolated showers were expected throughout the week.Officials touring the hardest-hit regions near the city of Uniao dos Palmares in Alagoas said it looked like a tsunami had hit.“I lost everything from one hour to the next,” Nelito Sousa, a 32-year-old bricklayer, told the O Jornal newspaper. “The water came quickly and knocked down house after house.”Schools in Uniao dos Palmares and other areas were being used to house the homeless, with entire families divvying up small areas of classrooms, gymnasiums and hallways. (AP)