1,000 Missing in Brazil Floods

More than five days of rain in Brazil have left at least 1,000 people missing in the country’s northeast, with government officials fearing a high death toll and heavy infrastructure damage.

Torrential rains have caused flooding in the north-eastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco since Thursday last week, with authorities confirming at least 33 people dead. The country’s civil defense agency said that more than 40,000 have been forced to leave their homes.

Pernambuco Gov. Eduardo Campos, after doing a survey of the affected areas in his state, described the scene as “more than a horror film.” Alagoas Gov. Teotonio Vilela Filho said the devastation caused by the floods can be likened to a war zone. “There are places where it looks like someone has dropped an atomic bomb,” the governor said. Filho claimed that around 70 percent of the state’s railway system has been damaged by the floods.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has promised to provide assistance to the two affected states, where some local reports estimated the affected people to reach close to 100,000.