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Rains, flooding kill 95 in Brazil

Heavy rains and flooding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and surrounding areas Tuesday killed 95 people and injured at least 93, fire officials said.

About 287 people have been rescued, and others were trapped under mudslides caused by the rain, Maj. Ronaldo Nogueira said.

A record-breaking 11.3 inches (288 millimeters) of rain have fallen in Rio in the past 24 hours, Mayor Eduardo Paes said, according to the state-run Agencia Brasil news agency.

The rain was forecast to continue through Wednesday, Agencia Brasil reported.

Firefighters were focusing on rescuing people from multiple mudslides throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro. Traffic is chaotic, and transportation has collapsed, Lt. Col. Alexandre Rocha said.

Paes asked for those in mudslide areas to leave their homes but for other residents to stay put.

“We are in a critical situation, and we are asking people to not leave their homes and put themselves in risk,” Paes said. “We have several points throughout the city with flooding, and there is more rain expected to fall throughout the day. If people leave their homes, they will put themselves at risk and make our rescue jobs more complicated.”

There were reports of power outages, and schools were closed because of the rain. A high tide came with the rain, making the situation worse, officials said.

Most of the deaths — 48 — were recorded in the city of Niteroi, east of Rio de Janeiro, according to fire officials cited by Agencia Brasil. Thirty-five had been killed in the city of Rio and the rest in surrounding communities.


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