At least 18 people are dead and more than 280 injured in the northeast region of Brazil due to heavy flooding.
More than 35,000 people have been forced from their homes, according to Bahia's civil defence and protection agency, reported CNN. The floods have affected nearly 40 cities throughout the state of Bahia, Governor Rui Costa told reporters in the city of Ilheus, one of the worst-hit.
Brazil's meteorological and natural disaster monitoring agencies warn there is a risk of additional floods and landslides in Bahia, with the possibility of rainfall continuing until at least Tuesday, according to Agencia Brasil.
"This is a massive tragedy. I can't remember seeing anything like this in Bahia's recent history, given the number of cities and houses involved. It's truly terrifying, there are so many houses and streets that are completely underwater," Costa said.
In the city of Itambe, heavy rains caused a dam to break late Saturday raising fears and concerns of more flooding, reported CNN.
CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford says the Brazil National Institute of Meteorology has issued heavy rainfall alerts for nearly all of Bahia. Conditions are expected to improve in the state Monday and Tuesday, he said.
"Widespread rainfall for the next 48 hours is improving slightly, with much of the state seeing up to 50 mm, but there are local and isolated areas where up to 100 mm is possible."
Most of the major cities that have been hit by flooding are in their rainy season, so downpours are not unusual, Shackelford said, reported CNN.
"For Itambe, December is their wettest month, which they get about 120 mm of rainfall for the month of December. So they are forecast to get about two-thirds of a month of rainfall throughout this event," he said.