A car pushed by the floods to a channel is seen in Vila Prudente neighbourhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Monday. Reuters
Sao Paulo: Floods caused by torrential rains in and around Brazil’s financial hub Sao Paulo killed seven people overnight, firefighters said on Monday.
“We regret the unfortunate deaths of seven people,” the fire service said on Twitter, adding that four others were injured.
Four of the dead and two of the injured were members of the same family, whose house collapsed in Riberao Pires on the outskirts of Brazil’s largest city, located in the southeast of the country.
Three others drowned, two of them on a Sao Paulo boulevard and the other in Sao Bernardo do Campo, not far from the huge city, officials said.
The late summer rains submerged several neighborhoods and blocked major arteries into the metropolis, cutting train and bus services in some areas.
Mudslides also occurred in some parts of the sprawling metropolis, with more heavy rain forecast for later Monday.
Other victims died in the cities of Embu das Artes, Santo Andre and Sao Caetano.
Heavy rain began falling Sunday night and more is expected. Separately, Brazil’s bar association and top investigative journalism group Abraji blasted far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday for his latest Twitter attack on the press.
Bolsonaro on Sunday tweeted that a reporter with the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper had been caught on an audiotape saying that she wanted to aid in his impeachment and “ruin the life” of his son Flavio, a senator under investigation for money laundering.
However, the audio Bolsonaro included in his tweet, with the reporter speaking in halting English, made clear she said the corruption investigation into Flavio could create serious problems for the Bolsonaro government and possibly lead to his impeachment.
Neither the president nor Flavio Bolsonaro have provided explanations to federal prosecutors, who are investigating Flavio in connection with at least two luxury apartments he purchased in Rio.
Abraji and the OAB bar association said in a joint statement on Monday that Bolsonaro was trying to “intimidate media outlets and journalists.” Bolsonaro’s tweet on Sunday rallied his supporters on the social media platform, with the hashtag “Estado Lies” becoming the top trending topic on Twitter and with threats being made against the reporter.