At least 18 people were killed in mudslides and floods in Brazil as torrential rains swept through a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, emergency officials said.
Rio de Janeiro’s Fire Department said in a statement that over 180 soldiers were engaged in a search and rescue mission in the city of Petropolis, north of Rio de Janeiro.
At least 25.8 cm (10.1 inches) of rain fell in Petropolis on Tuesday in what corresponds to the same quantity that fell within the past 30 days combined.
The heavy rains left “a high number of incidents and victims,” according to the Petropolis city hall.
Authorities are concerned that fatalities will rise significantly in the area, which witnessed hundreds of deaths from heavy rainfall in 2011, according to a report in Sky News.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is on an official trip to Russia, said on Twitter that he has instructed the delivery of immediate support to the affected communities.
“May God comfort the family members of the victims,” he added.
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