21 dead due to severe flooding in Bahia state of Brazil

More than 417,000 people have been affected by the severe flooding

Fortaleza (CE) and São Paulo (SP) |
The chaotic scenario created by the floods left residents stranded and vulnerable - Manuella Luana/AFP

The tragic floods in cities across the state of Bahia cost yet another life on Tuesday December 28 bringing the total number of dead to 21. Severe flooding has been registered in several cities in the state in the last few days, with the number of municipalities in a state of emergency increasing to 136.

The latest confirmed death is of a 19-year-old girl who tried to cross flood waters in Ilhéus on Monday December 27 and drowned. This is the second death that occurred in the municipality. The cities that have reported deaths are Itamaraju (4), Jucuruçu (3), Amargosa (2), Itaberaba (2), Itabuna (2), Ilhéus (2), Prado (2), Macarani (1), Ruy Barbosa (1), Itapetinga (1), and Aurelino Leal (1).

The new data was released on Tuesday by the Superintendence of Protection and Civil Defense (SUDEC) on the impact of the flooding states that 34,163 people have been made homeless and 42,929 people have been displaced. In the case of the latter, they are people who lost their homes, but managed to find a place to stay. The people considered homeless include people who are dependent on public shelters. The number of people injured remains at 358, while the total number of people affected by the floods has risen to 471,786.

The situation worsened in the state last Friday December 24, with heavy rains in the Far South, as the water levels of the rivers had risen again on Thursday December 23.

In response to the tragedy, various social movements and civil society organizations have launched initiatives to support those affected. The Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) has been collecting donations from its own settlements and encampments as well as from individuals and groups to distribute to the affected regions. They have also strengthened their community kitchens in the area to distribute hot food to those in need.

Edited by: Vinícius Segalla