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10 Dead and 30,000 left homeless by floods

December 11, 1985

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Dozens of rivers, overflowing from two weeks of nearly nonstop rain, have swept through towns and villages in the northeastern state of Bahia, leaving 10 dead and 30,000 homeless, a government relief worker said Tuesday.

″Southern Bahia is crisscrossed with dozens of rivers and 15 days of almost continuous downpours has caused many of them to overflow,″ said Paulo Porto Maciel, executive director of the government commission coordinating the state’s relief assistance.

Tv Globo, Brazil’s largest network, showed waist-deep water rushing through the town of Gandu, where 8,000 people are reported to have lost their homes.

The rains have affected 55 of the state’s 336 municipalities, Porto Maciel said, and so far the government has provided the flood victims with 210 tons of food. Sheltered in schools and churches, the homeless have also received beds, blankets, and medical care, he said from San Salvador, 1,000 miles northeast of Rio.

″Today’s rains weren’t the torrential downpours we’ve seen over the last two weeks,″ he said. ″But it’s much too early for optimism. More rain is forecast for tomorrow.″

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