Brazil announces emergency aid to storm-hit regions

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government announced on Thursday an emergency aid of 130 million reais (74.7 million U.S. dollars) to towns in the country's southeastern region recently hit by storms.

A total of 80 million reais (45.97 million dollars) will be distributed to Angra dos Reis, a coastal city in the southwest of Rio de Janeiro state, where mudslides left 52 dead on New Year's Day and destroyed houses, said Minister of National Integration Geddel Vieira Lima.

The town, a beach resort, has already seen a reduction in tourism revenues.

Another 50 million reais (28.73 million dollars) will be allocated to six towns in Rio's metro area, in which another 22 people died because of flood-related disasters.

The aid will be used for rebuilding the towns, relocating families and recuperating hills, said Lima.

According to officials from Brazil's labor ministry, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to authorize the release of the FGTS fund, normally used as unemployment payment or house-purchasing fund for Brazilian workers, to help with the relief work in Angra dos Reis.

Editor: Lin Zhi