RIO DE JANEIRO - The death toll from two separate ferry wrecks in Brazil in as many days surged on Thursday, with 43 people killed overall, according to authorities and media reports.

“We deeply regret the loss of tens of lives in the boat accidents in Para and Bahia,” two states in the north of the country, President Michel Temer said on Twitter.

Regional authorities and media in north-central Para state said 21 people were confirmed dead so far after a boat sank on the Xingu river late Tuesday.

That vessel, the Capitan Ribeiro, had 49 people on board, of whom 23 were rescued, and emergency teams were still searching for five more, the department said in a statement.

Separately, the navy said 22 people died when a ferry sank early Thursday off the northeastern state of Bahia. That boat had 133 people on board, of which at least 21 had been rescued, naval commander Flavio Almeida told AFP.

The vessel was running the short route from the island of Itaparica across the bay to the city of Salvador, capital of Bahia state, when it went down in a storm.

“It was raining... a wave came and the boat turned over. There were a lot of people” on board, one survivor, Edvaldo Santos de Almeida, told top news website G1. The state government decreed three days of mourning.

“I have been personally following this difficult operation from an early stage and all measures have been taken immediately,” said Bahia governor Rui Costa. In the incident in Para, in a northern Amazon region, survivors told local media that the boat got caught in a rainstorm.

The vessel had left the port of Santarem bound for Vitoria de Xingu. The regional public safety department gave a toll of 19 in a statement early Thursday.

 Local media later cited the department as saying that two further bodies had been found, bringing the total to 21.

Ferries, fishing vessels and big commercial ships ply the Amazon waterways as one of the main forms of transport in a region with relatively few roads.

Some 1,160 people have been killed in accidents on rivers in the Amazon since 1981, according to the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.