Several days of heavy rain has sparked severe flooding in north-eastern Brazil. 31 people are confirmed dead, thousands are missing, and 40,000 people are homeless in the states of Pernambucco and Alagoas.
A spokesman said 1,000 people are missing in Alagoas, 500 from the town of Uniao dos Palmares alone.
Alagoas is a popular summer destination because of its many beaches, but visitor numbers decline during winter.
Thousands of kilometers of roads have been washed away, hindering rescue and aid operations.
More rain is predicted for the region. From BBC News and CNN Tuesday 22 June, 2010
Issues for travelers
Widespread flooding often also contaminates clean water supplies - when the sewers fill up, everything just flows out.
Frequent hand washing helps keep germs at bay. (If a traveler becomes unwell within six weeks of returning home and has fever, rash, respiratory illness or any other unusual symptoms, advise a physician of having just returned from a disaster-affected region.)
Drink only bottled, boiled or disinfected water. For more information refer to the CDC website.
Follow all advice from either your medical assistance service and/or local emergency service team and authorities to move to safe zones or transport to take you to the airport for evacuation.
Avoiding landslides and mudslides
• If you are in an area prone to landslides and mudslides (i.e. very steep slopes, canyons, high rainfall zones) be aware of any sudden increase or decrease in water level on a stream or creek that might indicate debris flow upstream. A trickle of flowing mud may precede a larger flow.
• Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences, or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides.
• Listen for rumbling sounds that might indicate an approaching landslide or mudflow
More info is available on Landslides on the CDC website.
The WorldNomads SafetyHub Blog has detailed survival tips information for travelers caught up in this or other natural disasters here.
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