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Storms kill two, cause 19 towns to declare emergency in Brazil


10:06, December 20, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The storms which have been hitting Brazil's Minas Gerais state, in the country's southeastern region, in the past days have killed two people and caused 19 towns to declare state of emergency, local Civil Defense said on Monday.

According to the Civil Defense, the storms have affected a total of 61 municipalities. Several rivers and streams have flooded and damaged bridges and roads. In some areas, water and energy supply was disrupted.

Two people died in the small towns of Reduto and Governador Valadares. A man was hit by a falling tree and a woman was washed away by a river. Almost 500 people had to leave their homes.

Some 21,500 people were affected by the bad weather, the Civil Defense said. About 1,500 houses and eight bridges were damaged, and six bridges were completely destroyed.

In Minas Gerais' capital city Belo Horizonte, the volume of rain in December reached 430 millimeters, surpassing the 320 millimeters expected for the entire month. The situation in Minas Gerais is likely to remain difficult for some time, as the weather forecast shows that it will rain a lot in the next few days.

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