The civil defense office in Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul says floods caused by torrential rains have displaced more than 18,000 people across more than 100 cities.
The civil defense website says most of those who fled their homes were being sheltered by relatives and friends. Others were finding refuge in sports arenas, schools and other public buildings.
The federal government declared a state of emergency Thursday for more than 124 cities. The declaration allows federal funds to be sent to the flooded areas. The amount of these funds has not been disclosed.
The rains have stopped, but the Uruguay River and its tributaries remain swollen.
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