Some 1,000 people are missing after days of heavy rain in north-eastern Brazil triggered deadly floods, officials say. At least 38 people are known to have died so far and tens of thousands have had to flee their homes.
Correspondents say the floods have washed away entire villages in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco, BBC News reports.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called a crisis cabinet meeting for Tuesday and said the government would make federal funds available to help the homeless.
The president met Monday with local governors to work on details of the relief efforts, AFP says.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia