SAO PAULO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people died Thursday in floods and landslides sparked by heavy rains in Presidente Getulio, a town in southern Brazil's Santa Catarina state, bordering Argentina, state officials said.
"The situation in Presidente Getulio is critical due to the floods: houses, vehicles, everything destroyed, people with water up to their shoulders," the head of the town's fire department, Alex Lima, said.
Civil defense rescue teams were also searching for 12 missing persons in affected neighborhoods, officials said in a statement.
A heavy storm early Thursday battered several towns, some close to Florianopolis, the state capital and one of the most important tourist destinations in Brazil.
Landslides blocked access to Presidente Getulio, home to 14,000 inhabitants, for a few hours.
Due to the possibility of new storms, it is important the population remains alert and heeds the instructions of civil defense authorities, Santa Catarina Governor Carlos Moises said. Enditem