BRASILIA – The death toll from heavy rains lashing the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia rose to 20 on Monday, with 358 people injured, according to a new report released by the state’s civil defense authorities.

The total number of people affected rose to 470,000, according to data from the municipalities, of which 100 out of 116 have declared a state of emergency, said the report.

The persistent rains caused the collapse of bridges and dozens of houses, along with floods and material losses not yet quantified.

According to the National Institute of Meteorology, the high volume of rains that have devastated southern Bahia since November will continue this week and extend into January.

The states of Maranhao, Ceara and Sao Paulo announced they would send firefighters to help the affected areas.

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