Death toll from landslides, floods in Brazil reach 78

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The death toll from landslides and floods in the Brazilian city of Petropolis in Rio de Janeiro state rose to 78, including six children, local authorities said.

“It was the worst rain since 1932, with 240 mm in just over two hours,” Claudio Castro, the Rio de Janeiro state governor, told reporters after visiting the disaster area.

Heavy rains on Tuesday in the mountainous city, located about 68 km north of the city of Rio de Janeiro, triggered more than 50 landslides, reports Xinhua news agency.

In six hours, Petropolis received more rainfall than expected for the entire February, which prompted the mayor’s office to decree a state of public disaster.

The city’s Secretary of Civil Defense Gil Kempers said in a press conference earlier that 21 people were rescued and the number of missing people still remains unknown.

Trucks began to arrive in Petropolis with donations for over 500 evacuees.

Meanwhile, the city received a weather alert for more intense deluges on Thursday and Friday, amid the rainy season in the southeastern region of Brazil.

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