At least 48 people have died and 38 are still missing following heavy rains that devastated coastal areas of Brazil’s southeastern Sao Paulo state. The city of Sao Sebastiao suffered the greatest loss of life, with 47 of the reported deaths. Other towns such as Ilhabela, Caraguatatuba, Bertioga, and Ubatuba were also heavily impacted.
Forecasters warned that more rain was expected Wednesday as a new cold front formed over the region, with “moderate to heavy showers” forecast until early evening. Key roads such as the Mogi-Bertioga and Rio-Santos highways remained blocked due to landslides, while state-run water company Sabesp managed to restore water supply to the region.
The floods in coastal Sao Paulo state are the latest in a series of such disasters to recently strike Brazil, where shoddy construction, often on hillsides, can have tragic consequences during the country’s rainy season. The deluge happened as tourists thronged to local beaches during the annual Carnival holiday, likely making the human toll much worse.