Death toll from torrential rain in Brazil rises to 16

BRASïLIA (AFP) - The death toll from torrential weekend rain in north-eastern Brazil has risen from 11 to 16, local authorities said on Tuesday.

"Our latest toll is 16 dead and one still missing," a Civil Defence spokesman said.

An official statement said 202 homes were destroyed and more than 800 people had to be evacuated in Lajedinho, a town of 4,000 people some 355km from Salvador, the capital of Bahia state.

Governor Jaques Wagner said many stores and even the town hall were affected and called for rebuilding to begin without delay.

He also expressed concern about sanitary conditions in the town, where some areas, according to residents, were under two meters of water.