SAO PAULO (AP) — Army troops were deployed in Espirito Santo state on Thursday to help distribute food, water and medicine to victims of the floods and mudslides that have punished southeastern Brazil for more than 10 days, killing at least 39 people.
The G1 news portal cited an army major as saying that 170 troops were sent to Espirito Santo from neighboring Rio de Janeiro state.
Army engineers were expected to arrive later Thursday to help repair highways, roads and bridges damaged by the floods. Calls to the Army for more details went unanswered.
Espirito Santo's civil defense department said on its website that 21 people have died in mudslides or floodwaters and that more than 60,000 were driven from their homes and forced to seek shelter in public buildings or the homes of friends and relatives.
In neighboring Minas Gerais state, floods and mudslides have killed 18 people and about 4,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.