SAO PAULO, Brazil – Floods triggered by two weeks of torrential downpours have killed at least 10 people and forced more than 30,000 people to flee their homes in Brazil's normally arid northeast, officials said Friday.
Marcos Alfredo Alves, a spokesman for the Paraiba state government, said 14,000 people had to leave their homes there to escape waters that invaded the streets in 13 towns and cities. He said 10 people had drowned.
The Paraiba River that cuts through the state overflowed its banks and a medium-sized dam broke "flooding several rural regions inhabited mostly by poor farmers," Alves added.
In the nearby state of Piaui, the Civil Defense Department said the floods drove close to 19,000 people from their homes and destroyed corn and bean crops. About 30 cities and towns were isolated by washed out roads.