Page last updated at 02:25 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 03:25 UK

Thousands flee Brazilian floods

By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Sao Paulo


Aerial footage of floods in north-east Brazil in early May

Severe floods have forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in the north and north-east of Brazil and at least 15 have been killed.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited the worst affected areas. The government says emergency aid such as food and mattresses are being provided.

About 180,000 people across eight states are reported to have had to leave their homes.

More than 190 towns and cities have been badly affected by the floods.

For weeks, heavy rain has been causing extensive problems across the north-east of Brazil, a region more often associated with the difficulties caused by drought.


In the state of Maranhao 130,000 people are said to have been affected by flooding.

President Lula is flown over flood-affected areas in Piaui state, 5 May2009
President Lula flew over flood-hit areas to see the damage for himself

Many families are either losing their homes or being forced to seek temporary shelter.

A number of important roads in the region are impassable, and the army has been using boats to help people reach their destinations.

The governor of the neighbouring state of Piaui has declared an emergency in 19 towns and cities and has requested military assistance for those stranded by flooding.

President Lula travelled to the region on Tuesday and spoke to families staying in emergency accommodation.

Speaking to mayors from across the region, the president complained that bureaucratic laws enacted by congress were getting in the way of attempts to provide assistance to those affected.

Emergency supplies such as food, blankets and clothing are being distributed to people forced from their homes.

Such is the size of Brazil that in the south of country the problem is exactly the opposite - 95 towns and cities are now reported to be facing a crisis because of a lack of rain.

Are you in Brazil? You can send us your pictures to, text them to +44 7725 100 100 or if you have a large file you can upload here.

Read the terms and conditions

At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.

Print Sponsor

Brazil's north-east hit by floods
05 May 09 |  Americas
Heavy Brazil floods leave 45 dead
25 Nov 08 |  Americas
Thousands flee floods in Brazil
05 Apr 08 |  Americas
Country profile: Brazil
14 Aug 12 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific