RIO DE JANEIRO, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rains and ensuing floods, which have been affecting several Brazilian states in the past month, have caused a total of 45 deaths so far, according to a report released on Wednesday by the country's National Civil Defense Secretariat.
One death was registered in the state of Santa Catarina, in the country's southern region, while the remaining 44 took place in the northeastern region, in the states of Ceara (15), Maranhao (10), Bahia (7), Alagoas (7), Paraiba (2), Sergipe (2), and Pernambuco (1).
The Civil Defense Secretariat stated that over 377,000 people had been forced to leave their homes due to the floods, 123,000 of which are now in public shelters.
The rains had affected a total of 407 municipalities in 13 states, among which the states of Maranhao, Ceara, and Amazonas were the worst hit, according to the Secretariat.
The damage caused by the rain has yet to be fully calculated. In Piaui state alone, the reconstruction will cost about 600 million reais (297 million U.S. dollars), said Governor Wellington Dias.
Floods are quite common in Brazil. Last year, Santa Catarina state suffered the worst one in the history of the state, which caused 135 deaths.