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Deadly flooding, landslides strike Brazil

January 26, 2020

At least 44 people have been killed, with 19 still missing, following more than two days of torrential rains in the southeast of the country. The severe weather comes one year after a dam break killed nearly 300 people.

A house is nearly submerged by floodwater in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Futura Press/A. Mota

Two days of torrential downpours have unleashed heavy flooding and landslides in southeastern Brazil, killing at least 44 people, according to authorities on Sunday. 

Civil defense officials said another 19 individuals were listed as missing following the landslides and building collapses. The number of those injured currently stands at 12.

An additional 2,600 residents have been evacuated from their homes in the state of Minas Gerais, regions of which have been devastated by the heavy rains.

Several men clear debris following a landslide
Rescue workers in Minas Gerais used a break in the rains to try to clean up some of the damage caused by rain-triggered landslidesImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Futura Press/A. Mota

A state of emergency was declared in 47 towns and cities, including the regional capital Belo Horizonte, where a new record was set for the greatest amount of rainfall in a 24-hour period. Additional deaths were reported in the state's interior areas.

Rescue workers search for five victims buried by a landslide in Belo Horizonte (Getty Images/AP/Douglas Magno)
Rescue workers search for five victims buried by a landslide in Belo HorizonteImage: Brasilien, Regen, Regenfällen, Katastrophe , Wetter

More rain is expected in the area, as well as in other parts of Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo.

The deadly floods came the same weekend that Brazilians were commemorating the deaths of 270 people killed one year ago when a dam burst in the municipality of Brumadinho, also in Minas Gerais.

Read more: Brumadinho: No lessons learnt from catastrophic dam collapse a year on

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jsi, cmb/stb (AP, AFP, dpa)