Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday established new regulations reducing red tape and allowing regions affected by natural disasters, such as the heavy rains besetting the southeastern part of the country, to receive financial aid and other emergency resources more quickly.

The new rules were published Thursday in the official gazette after a week of intense rains in the states of Espiritu Santo and Minas Gerais that have left at least 39 people dead and have driven about 50,000 from their homes.

While the rains have diminished in intensity, there exist in those two states areas that have been completely flooded where rescue teams are at work to relocate people from houses in danger of collapsing as well as searching for possible fatalities.

In Minas Gerais, the death toll stands at 18 while in Espiritu Santo 21 fatalities had been reported as of Thursday.

Rousseff on Tuesday visited some of the areas affected by the rains in Espiritu Santo and flew over several flooded cities by helicopter.

That same day she announced a broad mobilization of her government to attend to the people who have suffered property damage.

In addition, she ordered that soldiers and federal security personnel be sent to the region, along with helicopters and trucks to provide help to emergency personnel in relocating and rescuing people.

The government also has sent blankets, personal hygiene items, medicines, chemical products to purify water and several tons of food to the area, in addition to the humanitarian aid donated by the public. EFE