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Last Updated: Tuesday November 25 2008 07:56 GMT

Floods force thousands from home

Brazil floods AP Photo/Santa Catarina's government)

At least 22,000 people have been forced from their homes by severe floods in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

Heavy downpours over the last two months have left 45 people dead, with landslides destroying homes and blocking off roads.

Emergency workers have been using helicopters and boats to try to reach people left stranded by the floods.

Officials say the situation is now an emergency.

Some of the people who've had to leave their homes are staying with relatives and friends, while others have gone to public shelters.

Landslide
Landslides have blocked off roads

In total, more than a million people are said to have been affected by the flooding.

The mayor of the city of Blumenau, Joao Paulo Kleinubing, said the biggest challenge now would be getting medicine and food to people in the shelters.

State Governor Luis Henrique Silveira said: "Santa Catarina is facing its worst weather tragedy."