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CNN Today

Brazil Flooding Leaves Trail of Destruction, More Than Two Dozen Dead

Aired January 6, 2000 - 2:46 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Across Southern Brazil today, people are cleaning up after flooding and mud slides. Nearly a week of heavy rains has left more than two dozen people dead.

CNN's Mark Armstrong is watching the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK ARMSTRONG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The worst affected areas are the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where landslides have contributed to the misery. Civil defense workers are warning that the death toll could rise after rescuers search the 60 or so houses buried under mud in the mountain resort city of Campos do Jordao. Fortunately, many people living in the area had been evacuated before the mud slides.

Elsewhere, bridges have been swept away as the heavy rains swelled rivers, flooding roads and leaving many areas inaccessible. Mud slides along the Dutra Highway, Brazil's busiest road linking Rio and Sao Paulo, caused 10-kilometer traffic queues as motorists traveling in both directions took turns to use the only lane open.

Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless by the floods and the Brazilian government has promised $2.7 million U.S. in disaster relief. President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has visited the area by helicopter to witness the devastation for himself. The good news is weather forecasters say the worst has passed and that the rains should soon dissipate.

Mark Armstrong, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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