SAO PAULO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – A Brazilian Navy ship arrived in the coastal city of Sao Sebastiao on Thursday to help rescue victims of the heavy rains afflicting southeast Brazil, which have killed at least 50 people and displaced thousands.
The Navy’s multipurpose aircraft ship, its largest vessel, will serve as an emergency field hospital, and is equipped with helicopters and landing vehicles, as well as hospital beds.
Last weekend’s rainfall was the heaviest ever recorded in Brazil in a 24-hour period, according to government data, and left a trail of destruction along the coast of northern Sao Paulo state.
At least 38 people remain missing, while more than 3,000 have been forced to flee their homes, according to a statement from Sao Paulo’s state government.
Sao Sebastiao, located some 124 miles (200 km) from the metropolis of Sao Paulo, bore the brunt of the storms including nearly all of the reported deaths, as massive downpours provoked landslides and dangerous flooding.
More rainfall is expected in the coming days as humidity from the Atlantic Ocean and the Amazon rainforest creates conditions for “moderate to heavy showers,” according to the state government.