Brazil Floods Kill 42, Displace 115,000

Severe flooding caused by heavy rains in northeastern Brazil have left 42 people dead and nearly 115,000 displaced.

Scores of cities in the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Alagoas have declared states of emergency after Tuesday's disaster, which was caused by days of torrential rains.

At least 29 people in Algoas were killed and 73,000 left homeless, while in Pernambuco 13 people were found dead and some 42,000 displaced.

"Unfortunately, some towns have been nearly 100 percent destroyed, basically wiped off the map," a state spokesman told Reuters.

More than 600 people in Algoas, which was hit by a wall of water from a broken river dam, are still missing.

"We are praying that they are alive," Algoas Governor Teotonio Vilela Filho told local sources of the missing people. "We are worried because bodies have started to wash ashore."

On Tuesday, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held an emergency meeting with government officials to address the situation.

The Brazilian government has so far pledged $56 million for relief as well as food and temporary shelter materials.

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