Death toll in Brazil floods climbs to 109

brazil floods

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil—Weather forecasters are warning of more rain as Brazil reels from destructive floods caused by heavy rains this week.

Search and rescue officials found nine bodies Saturday, bringing the death toll to 109, CNN reported on its website.

Volunteers and troops were rushing to give out medicine, food, water and clothes to people in southern Brazil.

Months of heavy rain have sparked about 4,000 landslides in Santa Catarina state, cutting power and burying hundreds of homes and many roads beneath rivers of mud. The death toll could climb as officials say 19 people remain missing.

Torrential rains has affected 1.5 million people in the region and forced some 79,000 to flee their homes. There are still parts of the flooded region cut off from land access.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva surveyed some of the flooded areas via helicopter this week and declared the disaster one of the worst in the country’s history.

He said he was releasing $1.97 billion reais ($854 million U.S. dollars) in support to the afflicted areas, most notably to Santa Catarina.