Death toll in Brazil rains climbs to 24

Death toll in Brazil rains climbs to 24
# 20 March 2013 01:23 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The death toll from torrential downpours in southeast Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state climbed to 24 Tuesday, authorities said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Rescue workers in the state's mountain resort of Petropolis found several more bodies Tuesday, including those of three children, while 10 to 15 people remain unaccounted for.

Another 18 people were injured by mudslides and almost 1,500 people who were left homeless have been taken to 18 shelters around town.

The tourist town used to serve as the summer getaway of Brazil' s imperial family in the 19th century, but along with other towns in the area is frequently battered by downpours that cause mudslides and flooding.

Two years ago, several of Rio's mountain towns, including Petropolis, were the site of the country's worst natural disaster ever, after several days of torrential rains led to more than 900 deaths. Some 400,000 area residents were left homeless and the towns are still recovering from the disaster.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, who is in Rome on an official visit to the Vatican, said earlier in the day that local authorities should prevent people from building in high-risk areas.

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