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41 Killed, Thousands Homeless in Brazil Floods

A handout picture released by Alagoas Agency on June 21, 2010 shows a fire brigade helicopter fliying over Rio Largo, Alagoas State, northeastern Brazil, looking for victims following the overflowing of the Mandau river on 20 June 2010

Authorities in Brazil say flooding triggered by days of driving rain has left at least 41 people dead and tens of thousands of others homeless.

More rain is in the forecast.

The torrential rains have pounded the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco since Thursday, causing rivers to swell and burst their banks. The floodwaters also have toppled bridges and cut roads to dozens of cities.

41 Killed, Thousands Homeless in Brazil Floods
41 Killed, Thousands Homeless in Brazil Floods

In Alagoas, the worst-hit area, officials say more than 60,000 people were forced to abandon their homes. State officials say the Mundau River flooded near the town of Uniao dos Palmares, leaving at least 500 people missing.

In Pernambuco state, civil defense officials say the flooding killed at least 12 people and that more than 40,000 others are homeless. Officials expect the number of known deaths to rise.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held a crisis Cabinet meeting and announced that $55 million in emergency aid would be sent to the affected areas.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.